In last week’s article, I mentioned that the VA was now advertising same day service for primary care and mental health appointments. While this sounded great, it seemed a little unrealistic so I discussed with the leadership at Togus how they were going to implement this policy. On the primary care side, when you call to make an appointment, the appointment person will determine the urgency and make the appointment accordingly. If you have an urgent need to see a primary care clinician, they will make that appointment, but it may not be with your regular primary care doctor. The schedulers at Togus ensure that each primary care clinician at Togus has extra time in their schedules for “emergency” appointments. It will be up to the appointment scheduler when you make the call to determine the urgency. Mental health appointments are handled the same way, but veterans can go to Togus without appointments and get the help they need. If anyone experiences a problem with these procedures, it will be important to bring the issue to the attention of the Togus leadership. As I have mentioned in the past, we (the Veteran Service Organizations) meet with the Togus leadership every month so if there are problems, they can be brought to their attention directly.
As many of you know, the state wants to recognize all veterans who have serviced this country. If you served during the World War II, the Korean, or the Vietnam periods, you would receive a certificate of appreciation from a grateful state and a “commemorative” coin for that period. If you haven’t received your recognition, all it takes is to provide me with your DD 214 (discharge document) and I send the request to the Maine Bureau of Veterans Services. Last month, the state unveiled the new “Forever” coin that will now be available to all veterans who have served honorably, regardless of the era. Any veteran who would like to receive this recognition should provide me with their DD 214 and I will ensure you are appropriately honored. Of course, you can go directly to the MBVS and they will send it to you as well. The applications can be found on their website www.maine.gov/veterans
On Thursday, Dec. 5, from 1 to 3 p.m., in the Togus theater (building 210) the VA and the Maine Bureau of Veterans Services are holding a program on one aspect of Maine Native American history with a focus on Wabanaki cultural awareness. The event will also include the screening of “Underground Cities-The Secret Cities of WW I,” a film recounting the early part of World War I and the Yankee Division of New England. This event is open to the public.
The next meeting or the American Legion Boothbay Region Post, Auxiliary, and Sons will be on Dec. 9.