Column by Jesse Church
Hello, veteran old Jesse here with the veterans’ news and upcoming events. I recently had the opportunity to talk to John Candello in depth, he is a terrific young man who is really dedicated to helping the veterans of Hawaii in any way he can. He works as a Veterans Service Counselor for the Hawaii Office of Veterans Services. He will be on Molokai the first and second Tuesdays of each month from 7:30 a.m. – 1 p.m., and asks that veterans call to make appointments with him in advance and will see veterans in an emergency. John will be able to file a claim and see it to completion. Call 553-3611 to make an appointment, he works out of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs in Kaunakakai.
I’d like to remind all veterans and everybody after the near miss we had with that tsunami. Please make a plan for yourself and family, knowing what you are going to do and where you are going to go in case of an emergency. Have things you will need packed and ready to go, and check your supplies monthly.
A number of people have been asking about the veterans’ cribbage tournament. The annual Veterans Cribbage Tournament that is usually played in April has been delayed, and will be played on Saturday, May 14. I will get everybody the registration dates as soon as they are announced. Good luck!
Good news for veterans is abundant. Progress is promised by the Veterans Affairs (VA) office to complete all pending Agent Orange claims by 2015, according to a February 2011 article in Veterans of Foreign Wars magazine. Parkinson’s disease, B-cell Leukemia and ischemic heart disease have recently been added to the list of illnesses eligible for disability claims; since then, the backlog of claims jumped 54 percent. The VA is now reviewing previously denied claims related to these diseases filed between September 1985 and October 2009. If you have been denied during this time, contact your VA official to have your claim re-reviewed. VFW also wrote in January 2011 veterans will receive many new benefits through the Veterans Benefits Act of 2010, Public Law 111-275. The law’s provisions include job-creating initiatives, more generous burial benefits, assistance for homeless vets, new investigative methods for employment complaints from delayed troops, and more. Take time to read how the new law may benefit you.
If anyone has any news, stories or would like to talk, call Jesse at 553-3323. A big mahalo to all our veterans and people of Molokai, I love you all.