Department of Florida

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VA&R

May 2021

VA&R Bulletin

I’d like to begin this month’s article with some good news. As I’m sure you know by now, our Department Convention is a “go” and I look forward to seeing you in Orlando. In line with that, we will be conducting an in-person Post Service Officer class on Thursday, July 1 and Friday, July 2. The FDVA staff is hard at work putting together what will be another valuable and informative class. I stress the importance of every Post having a dedicated Service Officer. They serve as a resource way beyond just help with filing claims. Attendees must pre-register and this can easily be done online at Floridalegion.org and being sure to check off the option for Service Officer School and also fill out this form and return to Department.

Although more volunteer positions are being phased back in, that process is not complete. In spite of that, several of our VAVS reps have found ways to make contributions of time and effort at their respective facilities and are participating in various volunteer initiatives.

With the American Legion leading the way, it’s strong voice in support, the VA has established it’s Center for Women Veterans. Through that program, both active-duty servicewomen and women veterans can easily access information regarding health services and much more. Additionally, the VA now offers outpatient, inpatient and residential services for veterans who have experienced Military Sexual Trauma. Help is available at all VA medical facilities and VA Vet Centers in the state. As Legionnaires we need to find ways to let veterans who want and need help know that help is available, and they don’t have to be service-connected to receive it.

As a matter of valuable information, the VA has decided to cancel or refund co-payment debts incurred between April 6, 2020 and September 30, 2021. This applies to both medical care received through the VA and prescription meds

I’ve been lucky enough to have met some wonderful people who are dedicated to helping veterans with disabilities. I’ve learned that there’s a little-known program approved by the VA to help treat those veterans with neuropathy, having a high degree of success. I will direct you to their website: www.neurolumen.com.  Another organization is one which provides disabled veterans with specifically trained service dogs. Cost is extremely minimal (if special equipment is necessary) and they serve veterans of all wars and location within the state. Their website is: K9Line.org.

As a follow -up on an item from last month, The TEAM (Toxic Exposure in the Military) Act has now been re-introduced by two Senators. They are working with House Representatives to frame a bill that will be successful. Let’s remember that every election cycle representatives ask for your vote and promise to look out for our interests. Do not be afraid to remind them of that promise because this Act provides care for our brothers and sisters who earned it through their service. Call your Congressmen/women and remember that they work for you.

Unlike this time last year, I’m happy to close this article by telling everyone that I look forward to catching up with everyone at our Convention in July.

Larry Roberts
VA Entitlements