By Jesse Church
Aloha all my fellow veterans and residents of Molokai, old Jesse here with all the veterans news and upcoming events. The veterans here on Molokai have begun to receive the new VA Choice Card. If you have not gotten it, you will get in the next few weeks. Approximately three months ago, the U.S. Congress and the President signed into law the Veterans Access, Choice, and Accountability Act of 2014. What this temporary program does is allow veterans the choice to receive care outside of VA when they qualify, or when wait times for VA health care exceed the standards set by law. Also, you must check your eligibility and receive advance authorization from VA. When you receive your card, read all the information accompanying it, and do call the number to have your eligibility checked. If you want more information about this program, please visit va.gov/opa/choiceact.
Note that according to the Military Times, the first veterans receiving the Choice Card were not the veterans already facing long wait times for VA appointment even though they provoked the VA scandal and the ensuing legislation. The VA has said because they are placed second they are not being forgotten again, and I am one veteran that would like to see those veterans get the help they need and deserve as quickly as possible.
Well, another year has come and gone. I just started to remember writing 2014 and not 2013, and now I have to remember 2015. I tell you, I believe the older you get the faster time goes by. I surely hope that 2014 was a very good year for all of Molokai, and may 2015 be even better. You will be able to reminisce about 2014 in this and next week’s issue of the Molokai Dispatch. They will be the year in review issues.
On this date in history, Jan. 1, 2000, despite widespread fears that computers would be unable to read the date correctly and crash in the “Y2K effect,” America and the rest of the world slid into the new year with only minor problems. The U.S. Commerce Department estimated more than $100 billion was spent from 1995 to 1999 to fix the problem. On Jan. 26, 1784, Benjamin Franklin announced his opposition to the bald eagle as the national symbol, asserting that “the turkey is a much more respectable bird, and withal a true native of America.”
This holiday season, let us all take some time to give thanks to all our active duty military personnel, especially the people overseas away from home and family. Also, reserve military personnel, we thank you and all our veterans for all they have done, and the people of Molokai. To all these truly wonderful people who love their country, I say mahalo. I would like to thank the people of Molokai for all your help and support in writing this column. If anyone has any questions, suggestions or news, please call old Jesse at 553-3323. Everybody enjoy your holidays and remember that old Jesse loves you all very dearly. Aloha.