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VA Announces Rollout and Application Process for New Veterans ID Card


WASHINGTON — Today the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced that the application process for the national Veterans Identification Card (VIC) is now available for Veterans — yet another action honoring their service.
This has been mandated through legislation since 2015 to honor Veterans, and today’s rollout of the ID card fulfills that overdue promise.
 
Only those Veterans with honorable service will be able to apply for the ID card, which will provide proof of military service, and may be accepted by retailers in lieu of the standard DD-214 form to obtain promotional discounts and other services where offered to Veterans.
 
“The new Veterans Identification Card provides a safer and more convenient and efficient way for most Veterans to show proof of service,” said VA Secretary Dr. David J. Shulkin. “With the card, Veterans with honorable service to our nation will no longer need to carry around their paper DD-214s to obtain Veteran discounts and other services.”  
 
The VIC provides a more portable and secure alternative for those who served the minimum obligated time in service, but did not meet the retirement or medical discharge threshold. Veterans who served in the armed forces, including the reserve components, and who have a discharge of honorable or general (under honorable conditions) can request a VIC.
To request a VIC, Veterans must visit vets.gov, click on “Apply for Printed Veteran ID Card” on the bottom left of the page and sign in or create an account.
Veterans who apply for a card should receive it within 60 days and can check delivery status of their cards at vets.gov. A digital version of the VIC will be available online by mid-December.


Wreaths sought for veterans' graves in North Huntingdon

Rhonda Hunt is on a mission to place memorial wreaths on the graves of close to 2,100 veterans buried in two North Huntingdon cemeteries this holiday season.   Read more... 

New Tricare providers for 2018 listed

Wondering if your provider will still be in-network after Jan. 1st? Search online at https://www.humanamilitary.com/provider-locator

DMVA Digest


  A publication of Pennsylvania's Department of Military and Veterans Affairs
  November 29, 2017
 
Tell Us About Events Or Jobs For Veterans:
As a service to Pennsylvania’s veteran community, DMVA is committed to sharing notices from employers who are interested in hiring veterans as well as sharing information about veteran or military-oriented events being held in Pennsylvania, via the DMVA DIGEST. We encourage you to submit your event or employment opportunity for consideration to be included in the weekly Digest.
To submit an employment opportunity, please email RA-VA-Newsletter@pa.gov. To submit an upcoming veteran or military-oriented event being held in Pennsylvania, please email RA-VA-Newsletter@pa.gov with the following details: 1. Name of event; 2. Date of event; 3. Time of event; 4. Address of event; 5. County of event; 6. Event website; 7. Point of contact name, phone number and email address; and 10. Additional details such as coordinating instructions, required fee to attend, pre-registration, etc.
 
You Can Donate To PA Veterans Who Served Our Country And Defended Our Freedom:
If you want to support Pennsylvania’s veterans, making a monetary donation - online or by mail - is a great way to show your support. In return, you will experience the satisfaction that comes from selflessly giving to those who served our country and defend our freedom. Your financial contribution will allow DMVA to provide current service members, veterans and their families with many essential services and programs that otherwise would not be available. Donate today.
 
  Around the State
 
At Phila. National Cemetery – An Overdue Salute To Black Civil War Soldiers:
For more than a century, in the hush of Philadelphia National Cemetery, 350 former black soldiers rest beneath aged headstones, inscribed with names and dates but not a word of what they gave for their country. They were soldiers of the United States Colored Troops, a fierce force of nearly 180,000 men that made up one-tenth of the Union Army during the Civil War. Read more.
 
Brittany Pointe Estates Retirement Community Honors Its Veterans:
Two World War II veterans were honored recently at the Brittany Pointe Estates retirement community in Upper Gwynedd Township (Montgomery County). Honorees and their families were hosted with a buffet luncheon in the community dining room prior to the ceremony. Honoree Janet Higgins, Petty Officer second class, served our country as an enlistee in the WAVES (Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service) and was stationed in Washington, D.C. Read more.
 
Couple Raises Thousands For Homeless Veteran To Thank Him For Selfless Act:
When Kate McClure first met Johnny Bobbitt Jr., he was homeless. He spent this Thanksgiving resting in a hotel, his feet up on the bed, drawing up a grand plan for his new life, thanks to several thousand dollars McClure raised to repay him for a good deed. Read more.
 
Donations And Volunteers Needed For Indiantown Gap National Cemetery Wreath Laying Ceremony:
Wreaths Across America is looking for volunteers and donations. Their mission is to lay a wreath on every veteran gravestone at Indiantown Gap National Cemetery in Lebanon County during a public event being held on Dec. 16, 2017. They have until Friday, Dec. 1 to reach their goal of honoring all 38,000 buried veterans with a wreath. If you are interested in attending, volunteering, or wish to make a donation, head to the website.
 
Dynamic Program Offers PA Air National Guard (ANG) Members Power To Fashion Future Of Air Guard:
The Pennsylvania Air National Guard is extending the unique opportunity to its members to hand-pick the present and future power in air, space and cyberspace. Operation Alma Mater is a recruiting innovation pioneered and launched by PA ANG strength management teams this month. Read more.
 
PA Veteran Farmers Urged To Make Their Voices Heard:
Attention PA veteran farmers! Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture and U.S. Department of Agriculture need your input on the 2017 Nationwide Census of Agriculture. One objective of this year’s Census is to help USDA quantify how many PA heroes have helped to put food on our tables. The census is available online at www.agcensus.usda.gov. To learn more about the impact it has on Pennsylvania, visit PA Department of Agriculture’s recent press release.
 
Park Dedicated:
Hallstead, a borough in Susquehanna County, is now home to a memorial park dedicated in honor of Spc. William “Billy” Evans, a Pennsylvania National Guard solider killed in Iraq. Friends, family and community members, including Evan’s mother, Judy Parker, and father, Bill Evans Sr., gathered at the park on New York Ave. Read more.
 
Pennsylvania National Guard Merits National Awards:
The Pennsylvania National Guard's environmental office team earned two awards, one each for sustainability and security, at the recent Department of Defense (DoD) and Army National Guard environmental security awards events. Accepting an honorable mention for sustainability work and a third place for environmental security, the group located at Fort Indiantown Gap near Annville, PA (Lebanon County) contributed significant effort to preserving the National Guard installation area’s natural habitat, including wildlife, and specifically, a rare species called the regal fritillary butterfly. Read more.
 
Question Persuade Refer (QPR) Suicide Prevention Training:
People trained in QPR learn how to recognize the warning signs of a suicide crisis and how to question, persuade, and refer someone to help. This customizable two to three hour course is available to individuals and community groups at no charge as part of WellSpan Philhaven’s commitment to improving the mental health and resilience of our community. Register.
 
Secretary Of Education Announces Nearly $300,000 To Train Military Veterans To Be Teachers:
Secretary of Education Pedro A. Rivera today announced that Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania and West Chester University of Pennsylvania will receive more than $272,000 in funding under the federal Troops to Teachers grant program. The universities will partner with Allegheny Intermediate Unit, Delaware County Intermediate Unit, Pittsburgh Public Schools, and Chester Upland School District to prepare military veterans to be teachers. Read more.
 
Shelter Helps Homeless Veterans:
A shelter for homeless veterans is helping men find jobs, housing and get medical assistance. Tomorrow's Hope is a transitional housing center for veterans located in Coalport Borough (Clearfield County). The shelter works with local Veterans Affairs organizations, the Department of Corrections and Veterans Leadership Program to assist homeless men all over western Pennsylvania. Read more.
 
  Across the Nation
 
Financial Literacy Resources Available For Veterans And Servicemembers:
The VA’s Veterans Benefits Administration often writes about the VA benefits that veterans, service members and dependents can take advantage of, and while there are many of those, there are also many financial programs and services and benefits extended to veterans and their families from partner agencies outside of VA. Read more.
 
Finding Healthier Ways To Cope With Problems:
Veterans discuss how they attempted to cope with stress, nightmares and other problems by turning to alcohol or drugs. It took strength for them to seek out more effective solutions, leave behind unhealthy ways of coping, and live healthier, more fulfilling lives. Read more.
 
How Spouses Use Transferred GI Bill Benefits:
Many families find that they get maximum benefit by transferring their Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits to the service member’s spouse. The process to transfer and use the benefits can seem overwhelming, but it’s not really that hard. Read more.
 
PTSD And Relationships – Supporting A Veteran Loved One:
Tass noticed when they left the house that her husband, Anthony, would be on edge. He was uncomfortable in crowds, and sometimes, in the middle of the night, he would jump up and talk in his sleep. Read more.
 
She Needed Someone To Listen And VA Did:
Melissa, 45, said she was not in a good place when she retired from the Army in 2013. After all, she had experienced her share of trauma during her 20 years of service, which included deployments to Bosnia, Iraq, Afghanistan and other hot spots. Then there was the personal stuff, including a divorce that left her confidence and self-esteem at a low. Read more.
 
The Battle Abroad And The Battle At Home For Vietnam Veterans:
It took 15 years after Perry Stevens came home from the Vietnam War to be able to share his story. Of the 26 soldiers in his platoon, he was one of six who left the battlefield unscathed. "I came very close," he recalls. "You ask so many times why someone is dead and why you didn't die but you'll never know." Read more.
 
Tips For Managing Stress Around The Holidays:
There are many joyous things about the holiday season, but this time of year can also bring on stress, depression, and other challenges. For veterans or their family members, the unique experiences of the military and transitioning back to civilian life can make enjoying the season difficult. Here are a few things to keep an eye out for as the holiday season approaches. Read more.
 
USPS Military Holiday Deadlines For Overseas Shipping With Expected Delivery By Dec. 24:
The holiday season is the most wonderful time of the year, but many people miss loved ones who are stationed overseas as military or diplomatic members. While the holidays are a hard time to be away from home, the U.S. Postal Service makes it a priority that those serving their country will receive their presents, care packages and cards in time for the holidays — no matter where they may be. check USPS deadlines to ship overseas to loved ones serving in the military with an expected delivery of packages by Dec. 24.
 
VA Study Shows Parasite From Vietnam May Be Killing Vets:
A half a century after serving in Vietnam, hundreds of veterans have a new reason to believe they may be dying from a silent bullet. Test results show some men may have been infected by a slow-killing parasite while fighting in the jungles of Southeast Asia. Read more.
 
Veteran Population To Shift In Next 30 Years:
According to data from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), the percent of veterans that are women and minorities will increase significantly by 2045. The total population of veterans in the United States will decrease as those who served in Vietnam and previous wars get older and pass away. Read more.
 
Veterans Are Key As Surge Of States OK Medical Pot For PTSD:
Against the backdrop of the nation's largest Veterans Day parade, Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced this month he'd sign legislation making New York the latest in a fast-rising tide of states to approve therapeutic pot as a PTSD treatment, though it's illegal under federal law and doesn't boast extensive, conclusive medical research. Read more.
 
Veterans With Chronic Hepatitis C:
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) strongly encourages any veteran with chronic hepatitis C to seek hepatitis C treatment at any VA facility in the region. The national VA goal is to eradicate hepatitis C infection for all veterans. VA providers can prescribe all the newest hepatitis C medications. For most individuals, this means taking one to three pills once per day for eight or 12 weeks. Side effects are minimal and treatment is effective more than 95 percent of the time. To date, VA has had tremendous success treating and curing veterans with this disease that was once thought of as incurable. For assistance and a referral for hepatitis C treatment, please contact your primary care provider. If you need further assistance contact:

• Altoona (Blair County) – William Depp-Hutchison, MD at 814 375-6817, ext. 5113
• Butler (Butler County) – Joshua Snodgrass, Tina Broerer at 878 271-6220
• Coatesville (Chester County) – Eric Egert at 610 384-7711, ext. 5963
• Erie (Erie County) – Michael Ricci at 814 860-2874
• Lebanon (Lebanon County) – Richard Hawley MD at 717 272-6621
• Philadelphia (Philadelphia County) – Elaine Wynter-Rose at 215 823-5800, ext. 6348
• Pittsburgh (Allegheny County) – Shari Rogal, Sarah Foti at 412 360-1807
• Wilkes-Barre (Luzerne County) – Martha Ghosh, Michael Surdy at 570 824-3521, ext. 4995
• Wilmington, Delaware – Rena Johnson, Judith Nwachakwu at 302 994-2511, ext. 4287
 
World AIDS Day – The Time To Act Is Now:
Dec. 1, 2017, marks World AIDS Day and a great time to talk to your doctor and be tested. The VA treats more patients with HIV than any other health care provider in the U.S. Read more.
 
  Employment Opportunities
 
This listing is offered as a resource to both Pennsylvania's veterans and businesses that seek to employ veterans. The DMVA has not investigated the positions being offered or the businesses listed, and does not warrant or guarantee either the availability or the terms and conditions of the positions listed. Please contact the employers represented in this listing directly. To have an employment opportunity listed please email: RA-VA-Newsletter@pa.gov
 
Wolf Administration Establishes New Apprenticeship Program:
Governor Tom Wolf announced a new pre-apprenticeship and apprenticeship program through the Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) that will enable more Pennsylvania employers to develop the specialized training their workers need to close skills gaps in the workplace, while also providing rewarding career pathways for students and adults. Read more.
 
Pennsylvania Civil Service Jobs:
The Pennsylvania State Civil Service Commission regularly posts available job openings. Veterans looking to match their work experience with the right career in civil service should go to www.scsc.pa.gov to check out the open positions and testing information.
 
Two Part Time On-Farm Jobs Available In Westmoreland County At Veteran-Owned Farms:
Pennsylvania Veteran Farmer Project at Pleasant Lane Dairy near Latrobe (Westmoreland County) and Lindwood Farms, breeder of champion Standardbreds, have openings.
Point of contact: Todd Frye Pleasant Lane Dairy 724-610-1552 or Dennis Hoffman Lindwood Farms 724-836-1802, ext. 26.
Apply.
 
The 7 Most In-Demand Tech Jobs For 2018 – And How To Hire For Them:
As companies scramble to adapt to the modern workforce, they’re doing whatever they can to attract top tech talent. For some that may mean getting a head start in filling next year’s most in-demand roles, which range from data-focused to security-related positions, according to Robert Half Technology’s 2018 IT salary report. The survey also reveals the average salaries for each role based off experience. Read more.
 
USA Jobs For Veterans:
Veterans: Find your fit in the federal government by exploring employment opportunities at www.usajobs.gov. This site will allow you to create a profile, upload your resume, and apply for federal positions that match your skill set.
 
  Veteran Events
 
This listing is offered as a service to individuals and organizations to promote their veteran and military-oriented events being held in Pennsylvania. The information is taken directly from emailed submissions from requestors. DMVA is not responsible for incorrect information submitted. Please send details on events to RA-VA-Newsletter@pa.gov and include the following key pieces of information: 1. Name of event, 2. Date of event, 3. Time of event, 4. Address of event, 5. County of event, 6. Event website, 7. Point of contact name, 8. POC phone number, 9. POC email address, and 10. Additional details/coordinating instructions (fees, pre-registration, etc.)
 
Habitat For Humanity Of Bucks County:
- Applications are being accepted through Nov. 30, 2017
- Point of contact: Stefanie Clark at 215-809-3845, ext. 307 or email sclark@habitatbucks.org
- Habitat for Humanity of Bucks County is looking for qualified homebuyers for three homes in Lower Bucks County. Buyers must currently live or work in Bucks County to apply. Each property will be renovated once a homebuyer is selected.
- Website.
 
VA Pittsburgh Fisher House Open House:
- Dec. 6, 2017, 11 a.m.-1 p.m.
- The Pittsburgh Fisher House, University Dr. C, Building 33, Pittsburgh, PA (Allegheny County)
- Point of contact: Heather Steele at 412-822-3537
- Our home, with its 10 suites, allows families to be near their loved one while enjoying a place of peace and respite for themselves. Families stay for free, lifting their financial burden and allowing them to focus on their loved one.
- Website.
 
PAServes – Greater Pittsburgh 2 Year Celebration In Progress Review:
- Dec. 6, 2017, 1-3:30 p.m.
- Pittsburgh Healthcare System, H.J Heinz Campus, 1010 Delafield Rd., Pittsburgh, PA (Allegheny County)
- Please join local leaders, stakeholders, providers and veterans in celebrating the two year anniversary of PAServes-Greater Pittsburgh! Together we will celebrate an amazing two years of collaboration and enhanced service delivery for our local community.
- RSVP.
 
Special Screening And Community Conversations Journey To Normal Women Of War Come Home:
- Dec. 7, 2017, 1-4 p.m.
- AMC Lowes Waterfront, 300 W. Waterfront Dr., West Homestead, PA (Allegheny County)
- Point of contact: Tamara (Ivosevic) Perconte at 412-395-6223 or email Tamara.Ivosevic@opm.gov
- Admission is $12. Movie begins at 1:30 p.m. and group discussion to follow in theater. Together we will explore how we can begin bridging the military-civilian cultural gap in understanding.
- Reserve your seat.
 
Military Crossroads:
- Dec. 9, 2017, 9-10:30 a.m.
- Spang Crest, 945 Duke St., Lebanon, PA (Lebanon County)
- R.S.V.P. by Dec. 1, 2017 at 717-272-8317 or email CompeerCorpsLebanon@outlook.com
- Unite veterans of all service eras, their spouses, family and community friends to learn about the military experience.
 
Wills For Heroes:
- Dec. 9, 2017, time slots: 11 a.m.; Noon; 1 p.m.; 2 p.m.; 3 p.m.; 4 p.m.
- Arcadia University, Grey Towers Castle, 450 South Easton Rd., Glenside, PA (Montgomery County)
- Point of contact: email Gabriele Miller-Wagner at wfh.gmillerwagner@yahoo.com or Hannah Suhr h.r.suhr@gmail.com
- Invitation to ALL Pennsylvania military veterans and first responders to obtain FREE estate plans. Schedule appointments online and use the password, "Arcadia." Website.
 
Veterans Breakfast Club (VBC) Morning Event:
- Dec. 13, 2017, 9-11 a.m.
- Robert Morris University, RMU Yorktown Hall, 8256 University Blvd., Moon Township, PA (Allegheny County)
- R.S.V.P. to 412-623-9029 or Todd@VeteransBreakfastClub.com. Please mention DMVA Digest when you R.S.V.P.
- The VBC is a nonprofit that creates communities of listening around veterans and their stories. Storytelling events, both morning and night, are held throughout Western Pennsylvania. Veterans from World War II to Iraq and Afghanistan share their stories. They are open to the public, and you don’t need to be a veteran to attend.
- Facebook page.
 
Veterans Breakfast Club (VBC) Morning Event:
- Dec. 16, 2017, 8:30-10:30 a.m.
- Christ United Methodist Church, 44 Highland Rd., Bethel Park, PA (Allegheny County)
- R.S.V.P. to 412-623-9029 or Todd@VeteransBreakfastClub.com. Please mention DMVA Digest when you R.S.V.P.
- The VBC is a nonprofit that creates communities of listening around veterans and their stories. Storytelling events, both morning and night, are held throughout western Pennsylvania. Veterans from World War II to Iraq and Afghanistan share their stories. They are open to the public, and you don’t need to be a veteran to attend.
- Facebook page.
 
Veterans Breakfast Club (VBC) At Night:
- Dec. 18, 2017, 6:30-8 p.m.
- Oakmont Elks Lodge, 106 Washington Ave., Oakmont, PA (Allegheny County)
- R.S.V.P. to 412-623-9029 or Nick@VeteransBreakfastClub.com. Please mention DMVA Digest when you R.S.V.P.
- The VBC is a nonprofit that creates communities of listening around veterans and their stories. Storytelling events, both morning and night, are held throughout western Pennsylvania. Veterans from World War II to Iraq and Afghanistan share their stories. They are open to the public, and you don’t need to be a veteran to attend.
- Facebook page.
 

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