I am excited to report that the VETS team, let by Ed Harmon, has placed two of the homeless veteran shelter trailers with the Maine Bureau of Veteran Services (MBVS) and one is now occupied and the other will be soon. This means one homeless veteran is not living out in the cold and one more will be as well! The MBVS Facebook page now includes the VETS trailer as one of their resources. A big thank you to our community, individuals and businesses, who have supported VETS Inc, a 501(c) (3), over the past year. Ed also reports that four more trailers are now in the pipeline.
The Togus Christmas lights are now up outside the Community Care (hospice/nursing/dementia) providing a little holiday cheer for the residence and staff. Post 36 has provided these decorations over the past six years, with a tree lighting ceremony happening at the end of November, a ceremony that includes singing Christmas carols inside to the residents. Unfortunately, this year we had to settle for just getting the display up due to the COVID restrictions. Many thanks to the Armstead family, Chris, Gretchen, and Imij, for their leadership putting the display up this year.
By now, those veterans who use the VA healthcare system and have co-pay obligations, should have received notification on the dollar amount of co-pays that are due in January. As was previously reported, the VA stopped collecting co-pays earlier this year to ease the financial burden of the veterans. It would be wise to look at the amounts due and verify the accuracy. If there is a discrepancy, let the VA know before you make the payment.
There will be another virtual VA Town Hall meeting on Jan. 7 from 3 to 4 p.m. This Town Hall meeting will provide the latest updates on the COVID-19 vaccine and their planning efforts to administer it. We will once again be participating in the meeting from the Legion Hall, for those without internet capability. The meeting is always hosted by the director of the VA/Togus healthcare system, Trayce Davis.
The National Defense Authorization Act has cleared congress and is on the President’s desk. It includes one destroyer for BIW, a 3% pay raise for the military and support for military spouse employment opportunities and child care. Military retirees and survivors, VA disability and Social Security payments will get a 1.3% cost of living (COLA) increase.
The next Post meeting will be Jan. 11.