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Showing posts from July, 2018

VA Clinics

There's a number of VA Clinics located throughout the Valley and neighboring areas.

These are typically smaller facilities than the main Hospital on Indian School Road in the middle of Phoenix between 3rd Street and 7th Street.

But the clinics are intended for more immediate care during normal hours without having to drive many miles.

There are two websites that list the various locations and hours of operation:

https://www.phoenix.va.gov/locations/

and

https://www.google.com/search?sa=X&q=va+clinics+in+arizona&ved=0ahUKEwj-u-7r9r7cAhW4ITQIHflNBsQQuzEICQ&biw=1566&bih=787

To find the facility nearest to you, check the location nearest and try phone numbers during the operating hours and/or visit the facility to verify they are functional and what services they offer.

Change in Veterans going to the Vet Centers

I was recently told that now the number of Military Veterans that are going the the Vet Centers has shifted from the Vietnam Vets to veterans who were in conflicts and wars AFTER Vietnam!  The is supposedly the first time that new applicants are more numerous for conflicts AFTER Vietnam.

Probably the greatest number of attendees at the Vet Center and the use of their services is still the Vietnam Vet, but now the new people who seek assistance has finally shifted from the Vietnam Era veteran to younger veterans who have served in the military after Vietnam.

Don't be embarrassed checking out what is available in the Vet Centers for veterans engaged in Military Conflict during their tour of duty in the Military.

That is why the Vet Centers were created! 

A facility where counselors are there to assist the military veteran ease back into society after having endured military conflict overseas.  Not only for the veteran, but for the benefit of spouses and family members of those veter…

The Vietnam Military Veteran

I have been told that the "boots on the ground" military veteran who have actually served in Vietnam during that war and are still alive is now less than 1% of the population of the USA.

The percentage of people in the military at that time that are still alive is less than 10% or so.  Almost all the veterans of that conflict are older than 65.

One article relating to that is:

https://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/26/science/how-many-vietnam-veterans-are-still-alive.html


A quote often attributed to Mark Twain but hopefully corrected here is:

http://www.twainquotes.com/Statistics.html

More importantly, I suggest, is that the military veteran who went to Vietnam went there thinking that he had a 50/50 chance of survival.  But for those who did survive that conflict, little thought was conceived that they may expire prematurely just from being there!

Many veterans of Vietnam are dying prematurely merely because of exposure to chemicals used there such as Agent Orange which has been det…

Attitude and stress

A lot of veterans suffer from PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder).  This is a psychological  disorder that affects the person because of some traumatic event he has been involved in or witnessed.

In the course of military conflict, the individual has at some time sensed a likelihood of death or great bodily harm or witnessed such in close proximity - to themselves or people they know.

Such trauma can even be experienced out of military conflict by such things as rape or even witnessing a horrible automobile accident.

But those events often leave psychological scarring that others have never had to realize out of that atmosphere.

We have to remember that a goal of mankind is functioning well within society.  It is probably more difficult in these times where the average adult is constantly bombarded by the sensational stories in the media, and movies and such.  In addition, the majority of people are also being economically or financially stressed.  And, if that is not enough, now th…

Arizona Artists Guild

For Veterans interested in art or having leanings in that direction, a wonderful facility available free for veterans is the Arizona Artists Guild.

 AAG  is located on 7th Avenue just South of Union Hills at 18411 N. 7th Avenue, Phoenix, AZ – 85023

On the FOURTH Saturday of every month (which isn't always the last Saturday)  the AAG is open to Veterans exclusively.  

Normal hours on that day are 10 AM - 2 PM.  

Refreshments are provided before the program and there is typically free lunch served at noon.  

There is no charge for veterans and each month the Guild tries to work in a different medium.  They supply all materials and talent is NOT required!  Only interest.  Being a veteran entitles you to Lifetime Membership.

http://www.arizonaartistsguild.net/veteransprogram/

http://www.arizonaartistsguild.net/

In addition to comradeship with fellow veterans you may discover you have undeveloped talent or interest you never realized.

This Blog

I have set up this Blog with the intention of INFORMING. 

To the best of my knowledge all the information I am providing is correct, or certainly as I know it.  My hope is that if I am providing incorrect information you will bring it to my attention so that I can make it correct.  Either by comment or my email (john@jjsullivan.com - with the word COMMENT on the subject line).

Choosing the Archive on the left can be used to focus in on any particular post, as the posts are in no particular order by subject.  Only by date as I post them.  Subjects are picked as I think of them.

There is also a SEARCH feature on the top that may prove useful for locating a particular post that ought to direct you more precisely to either a heading or some word or words within the text.

The arrow on the top will bring the reader back to the main body of posts if you enlarge a particular post and choose to READ MORE. 

And there is a Home Page link that will get you away from the "Veterans Corner"…

Eye Exams and eyeglasses

VA policy is that every veteran is entitled to an annual eye exam and a pair of prescription eyeglasses.

Both are free.

The VA will provide veterans with a free yearly eye exam and also glasses if needed including lined bi-focals in a multitude of frames at no charge.

For specialized frames or progressive eyeglasses (no lines but a gradation from seeing glasses to reading glasses) or added features like tinting and other features, the veteran pays only for the extra features.  Progressive lenses are $100 extra.

Plus there are sales that go on from time to time at the optical shop.

Policy now seems to be an out-sourcing with Tri-West for the exam.

I discovered that my preferred seeing glasses in the Phoenix area are a pair that are able to tint even darker but will withstand the ultraviolet rays of the sun even inside a vehicle as well.  There is an extra charge for that too but I find it worth it.  They return to clear slower than the others too.

As my prescription is relatively the s…

Kiosks at the VA

Some time back the VA installed kiosks all over the Health facilities.

They have a number of uses but probably the two most used is to check in to any appointments there in any of the clinics.  It can be a time saver if there happens to be a line trying to check in wherever your appointment should be.

Another big use is for requesting travel pay for showing up for any appointment if you meet the requirements.

In another post I will try to set down the criteria for collecting travel pay. 

Basically you can collect travel pay for appointments you keep at the VA and it is able to go back one month.  Pretty much use it or lose it.

Even going to the VA for labs requested by your Primary Care Physician rates travel pay.

The amount is determined from your distance in mileage from your place of residence to the designated facility.

Like disability compensation, that amount that is deposited into your bank account is tax exempt - just like your disability compensation.

10% Discount at the 3 big Hardware Stores

Many years ago I discovered that all 3 of the biggest Hardware stores in the Valley give a 10% discount to veterans - ALL THE TIME.

That's Home Depot, Lowe's and Ace Hardware.

Home Depot pretty much requires proof all the time.

Lowe's puts you into their computer but then merely requires some ID that you are who you are.

Ace Hardware is pretty much the same but you are entered into their Rewards program where your discount is automatic.

These three honor veterans by giving a 10% all the time for all the items sold there.  You may be required to state that you are a veteran and at least the 1st time be able to prove it.

My site - Time and Date

When I created my site many years ago, one of the first things I decided to create on it was what I considered a very useful link to what I considered a great site.

On the top of THIS blog I put a link that would bring you back to my Home Page.  Of course you can go everywhere from there. 

But on my home page, above my name, is the link that I was so impressed by.  I wanted people around the world to know exactly the time here in the Phoenix area at any given moment.  I know people all around the world in many Countries.

More importantly I wanted to also make them available to a very impressive site that will enable them to see the time around the world AND weather; along with many other wonderful features of convenience in that regards.

By clicking on the time in the link on the top of the page above my name, you are instantly linked to that wonderful site that gives access to the time and weather here in the Phoenix area in an attractive appearance.

It has an easy way of seeing time…

Ability 360

Ability 360 is a facility located at 5031 E. Washington St, Phoenix.  Basically 50th Street and Washington on the south side of the street.

https://www.google.com/search?q=ability+360&oq=ability+&aqs=chrome.1.69i57j0l5.7432j1j8&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8

For veterans the annual fee to secure membership is $25.  That's $25 a year to use the facility!

It's been there for many years as a physical therapy facility with many advantages like a huge exercise gym and weight room, 3 pools, an indoor track, and a rock climbing wall.  Plus many services for instructions and use of the facility.

The VA has an alliance with Ability 360 for the benefit of Veterans to make the facility available to veterans at such an affordable price.  In addition the VA uses the facility for many of its Adaptive Sports programs intended for the physical benefit of veterans.

More on that later.

Computer Tip: Increasing font size

This may be a little off subject but I thought it valuable if you don't know and useful for all - including veterans.

If you use a PC, many functions are available to make the computer experience a lot better and easier if you are aware.

A very good site to see many of the functions built into a PC (Personal Computer) intended for Windows users - especially Windows 10 - can be found on this page:

https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/12445/windows-keyboard-shortcuts

It's a good page for using the keyboard to make the computer experience a better one.  From time to time I intend to use this blog for what I consider helpful information that everyone ought to know - including and especially veterans.

(Ablog(atruncationof the expression "weblog")[1]is a discussion or informationalwebsitepublished on theWorld Wide Webconsisting of discrete, often informaldiary-style text entries ("posts"). Posts are typically displayed in reverse chronological order, so that t…

Hearing Aids

The VA has adopted a program for the hearing impaired for all veterans.

If the veteran is determined to having a hearing deficiency of sufficient amount to warrant hearing aids, the VA will provide them free of charge.

The correct procedure is to first schedule an appointment with audiology to determine the amount of hearing loss.  If the hearing loss is great enough, the VA will provide hearing aids to the veteran.

In addition, hearing aids also often come with accessories that will allow bluetooth capabilities so that incoming and outgoing calls will automatically be transmitted wirelessly to the hearing aids from your cell phone.  In addition, if you have music on your smart phones, they too will be heard on your hearing aids noiselessly.

Another very useful accessory is a device wherein you can connect to your main television and listen and your own comfort level while others in the same room can adjust the volume for their comfort.

The Phoenix Art Museum

The Phoenix Art Museum has adopted a new policy concerning Veterans.

http://www.phxart.org/MilitaryAccessProgram

They suggested that from now on all US Veterans are allowed free admission to the museum.  And a guest may accompany them as well.

The first time you visit the Museum, bring proof of your Service  and then you will be added into their computer.  Thereafter you need only an ID proving you are who you are and will be allowed into the Museum free of charge.

The Museum is located basically on Central Avenue immediately north of McDowell Road.

http://www.phxart.org/

Another wonderful benefit to Veterans as a result of their Service to the Country.

Two Veterans Toolkit Groups

The Phoenix VA has created and continues to run many classes and Groups and Activities intended for the well-being and increased life experience for veterans.

Two of these Groups are walk-in Groups - which means that all veterans are encouraged to attend - and referrals from a Physician or anyone is NOT required!

Both of these Groups meet at the Jade/Opal Clinic every Tuesday.  One at 11:30 AM and the other follows it at 1 PM.

The purpose of the two Groups are discussion Groups with direction - and instruction.

The first one: Veterans Toolkit meets currently at 11:30 and deals especially with coping skills.  Skills that have been studied and refined to assist individuals (in this case veterans) to handle and cope with anxiety issues we all deal with on an almost daily routine.

The second one: Veterans Chronic Pain Group focuses more on dealing with chronic (lasting typically more than 6 months) psychological and physical pain issues.

They both have the intention of helping the veteran…

Discounts for veterans on Independence Day

A number of businesses offer discounts for veterans on Wednesday (and other days).

Here's one listing:

https://www.12news.com/article/news/nation-world/oorah-where-active-military-vets-can-save-on-independence-day/507-569749319

Recreational Therapy

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The Phoenix VA has instituted a recreational therapy program for veterans where many activities are set up to provide veterans with activities designed to provoke interest in areas intended for a more productive and useful existence.

The official website is:

https://www.phoenix.va.gov/services/Recreation_Therapy.asp

Programs are available to promote better physical fitness like Yoga and Tai Chi and strength training.

There are creative arts programs for veterans to become comfortable in things like art and pottery, working with leather and ceramics.

Also specialty programs like Biofeedback (having anxiety measured and being guidance on how to reduce it), basic computer training and Adaptive Sports programs.

These programs and the hours they are offered can be located in the Topaz Clinic which is located in the Basement of the Main VA Hospital on the 3rd Street entrance side.

All the programs are free and materials are also provided free to veterans.

Generally the only thing required is…

E-Benefits

eBenefits is a website set up by the Dept. of Defense as an overall link to benefits provided by the Gov't to veterans.

The official website link is:

https://www.ebenefits.va.gov/ebenefits/homepage

This too needs to be set up correctly, but when done it gives access to other websites relating to health but other areas related to claims and benefits more importantly.

Things like Disability Compensation, Claims, Educational Benefits, House Loans, viewing Records of the veteran's Personnel File, setting up Direct Deposit and so much more.

My Healthy Vet

The service 'MyHealtheVet.com' is a website set up by the VA to monitor the health concerns of veterans.

The official website address is:

https://www.myhealth.va.gov/mhv-portal-web/home

After the veteran sets up an account, he or she can have access to such things as medications prescribed and needing to be refilled, appointments that are scheduled, and probably most important 'Secure Messaging'.  That is a direct link to the veterans doctor or clinic or various heath departments within the VA.

Once set up properly the veteran will also have access to his or her own health records from their computer or smart phone.

In addition there is helpful tips regarding how to improve health and staying healthy. 

Plus many other services.

Phoenix VA Regional Office

The Phoenix VA Regional Office is located at

3333 N. Central Ave., Phoenix AZ

That is 1 block south of Osborn on Lexington, almost to Central Ave. (From 3rd Street)

https://benefits.va.gov/phoenix/

This is the location of where many or most of the Agencies representing veterans is located as Advocates.  The service is free.

It is where disability claims originate.

It is also the location where counselors are available to review veteran records and claim progress.

Another service available at this location is the Vocational Rehabilitation Office.  As a veteran you can be tested to determine qualifications for employment and jobs best suited for your aptitude; as well as a possible eligibility for schooling or possible schooling for a particular trade.

In addition, an officail copy of your DD-214 can be ordered from there.

Ann Margaret

This is very revealing and something that is, unfortunately not too common these days.  I just read it:

Ann Margret...
 This is a good counter-balance story to the Jane Fonda Vietnam Woman Of The Year story.

Viet Nam 1966 
Richard, (my husband), never really talked a lot about his time in Viet Nam, other than he had been shot by a sniper. However, he had a rather grainy, 8 x 10 black and white photo he had taken at a USO show of Ann Margret with Bob Hope in the background that was one of his treasures. 
A few years ago, Ann Margret was doing a book signing at a local bookstore. Richard wanted to see if he could get her to sign the treasured photo so he arrived at the bookstore at 12 o'clock for the 7:30 signing. 
When I got there after work, the line went all the way around the bookstore, circled the parking lot, and disappeared behind a parking garage. Before her appearance, bookstore employees announced that she would sign only her book and no memorabilia would be permitted. 
Richard w…

Disability Ratings

If you suffered a disability as a result of serving in the military and are determined to be eligible you may receive tax-free disability payments.

These payments have been determined by Congress as compensation for serving our Nation.

https://www.benefits.va.gov/COMPENSATION/types-disability.asp

Some of these disability claims have been deemed PRESUMPTIVE, which basically suggests that if you were participating on active duty in locations that have later been determined to cause an increased likelihood of coming down with a certain disability, then you will will automatically qualify.

Many of us joined the military knowing that our survival may be a 50/50 proposition.

Very few of us had expected that, having survived the conflict, our lives have been shortened dramatically merely from being THERE some 20 - 50 years after the fact!

3 Main Vet Centers

There are 3 main Vet Centers in the general Phoenix area.

They are actually not a part of the VA  system directly but are closely aligned to it.

Their purpose is primarily to help COMBAT veterans and spouses.

Vet Centers are community based and part of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. ... The goal of the Vet Center program is to provide a broad range of counseling, outreach, and referral services to eligible veterans in order to help them make a satisfying post-war readjustment to civilian life.


https://www.vetcenter.va.gov/About_US.asp



The Vet Center in Phoenix is located at 4020 N. 20th St. #110
Just south of Indian School Rd. on 20th Street in Phoenix

https://www.va.gov/directory/guide/facility.asp?ID=380&dnum=All&stateid=AZ&v=1

The Vet Center in Mesa is located at 1303 S. Longmore, Suite 5
Just south of Southern at Longmore (between Dobson and Alma School) in Mesa

https://www.va.gov/directory/guide/facility.asp?ID=5609

The 3rd Vet Center on the west side is located…