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Beacon of HOPE program helps veterans

June 20, 2018
Pine Island Eagle

To the editor:

More vets are calling the Beacon of HOPE for help with our new community based program helping local veterans navigate the VA system for possible benefits. Look to us on appointment days if you're a veteran who seeks help with understanding eligibility, guidance and assistance. This is accomplished by meeting with a Veteran Service Officer and a local volunteer veteran. We will help you through the sometimes cumbersome system.

We can help you, as an honorably discharged service man or woman, learn the details of which you would never ask or ever think of.

Some of the most common requests for medical help are regarding eligibility for and enrollment in VA healthcare. If eligible for VA healthcare, you can benefit in several ways. Benefits include direct mental health care or access to VA resources and services that can support the care that you need in the community. The first step is finding out if you are eligible. From there you can find additional resources that can support the care that is provided (for example, group treatments, specialty care, housing resources).

Generally, if someone has served 24 consecutive months of active duty service in the military and separated under conditions other than dishonorable, they may be eligible. In some cases eligibility may be based on income.

Determining the eligibility status and possible co-payment information for a veteran can be complicated. Because of this we strongly encourage you to apply for enrollment even if you feel you may not be eligible.

The most often sought after benefit in the VA is for hearing loss. It is also the number one benefit paid to veterans by our government. Hearing loss is a direct result of being in the proverbial right place at the wrong time without hearing protection. This is, in many cases, a wartime disability and is now a prominent factor in complicating our veterans' daily quality of life. Testing, treatment and hearing aids can be supplied by the VA if you have an in-service related problem. Getting tested by an audiologist is a start.

Please schedule an appointment with us on the morning of July 6, between 9 and 11:30, to discuss any benefits for which you may be eligible.

James L. Garnett

Veterans Program Coordinator

USAF 1966-69



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