The weather has turned hot and so have Veteran activities. I would like to update you a little on just what is and isn’t going on.
TOMORROW (Thursday) – Our regular Veteran Information Table will be at Gardendale’s Farmers Market from 9 a.m. - 1 p.m. at the Gardendale Civic Center. We expect a good turnout of Veterans and their friends and families. Several keen Veteran advisors are projected to be with us at the Farmers Market. Jim Parola, as usual, has put together a great venue of booths with all sorts of veggies and other good stuff.
This week, no rain is expected, so the Market will come off as desired.
We had a very large number of Veteran information seekers at the Lowe’s in Fultondale on Thursday afternoon. While 20 is a good number at the libraries and market, we had over 35 questioners at Lowe’s (which ran from 2:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.). Unfortunately, due to unforeseen circumstances, this was our FIRST and LAST Lowe’s Veteran Information Table.
Even though our table will not be there, all Veterans should remember that Lowe’s gives a great discount to service people and veterans!
On a different matter – the Veterans Administration MISSION Act of 2018 will greatly empower Veterans and enhance their health care options. Under this program which began this month, the VA will:
- Continue to be the Veteran’s trusted and caring health partner;
- Meet the Veteran where he/she is with the right care at the right place and the right time;
- Provide Veterans with tele-health in their own homes, in a VA facility, or elsewhere in the Veteran’s community;
- Focus on providing an excellent healthcare experience for the Veteran and the important people in his/her lives.
The VA will accomplish these Veteran-centered options by doing the following:
- More Veteran to Veteran Peer Specialists;
- Trusted, easy to access, high quality care;
- Care in your home via expanded tele-health opportunities;
- Extra support in areas with limited services;
- Promoting quality care at the appropriate places at the right time;
- An Improved community care program;
- Education on the Veterans health care options;
- Expanded caregivers programs.
I think that we can all find some really positive aspects in the new MISSION Act for Veterans. Sponsored by the White House, this program brings a new vitality to the goals of the Veterans Administration. By increasing ways and means for reaching Veteran needs, the VA will undoubtedly see a great increase in Veteran and Veteran family participation.
At the Veteran Information Tables, we often hear from former service-members who tried the VA once and were dissatisfied and never tried again. Those days may be over! Regardless of what former experiences you may have had, give the new MISSION Act a look-see and find out for yourself just what this radical new approach is all about!
I had an excellent meeting last Saturday with the Vietnam Veterans of America, Chapter 416 which meets at the Hawkins VFW Building near the Birmingham/Jefferson County Civic Center. Chapter President Ron Becker chaired an exciting meeting with some really solid future plans. To find out more about the VVA, contact Ron at (205) 631-7903.
We should always remember – “All Gave Some. Some Gave All!”
May God Richly Bless our Country, our Veterans (and Families), our Active Duty Military, our First Responders (Law Enforcement, Firefighters, EMTs and Teachers) and most of all May God Bless YOU!
Gerald “Joe” Stahlkuppe is a combat Army veteran of the Vietnam War. An ordained clergyman, public speaker and author of several books, he lives with his wife in Gardendale.
Questions or veterans issues you would like to see addressed in the column can be directed to Stahlkuppe at P.O. Box 849, Gardendale, AL 35071 or emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.