Drivers needed to transport vets to Pittsburgh VA hospital

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At The VAVS meeting held at the Erie VA last Tuesday, many important topics were discussed. It was made known that the Erie VA is in need of DAV drivers (a van transports veterans from the Erie VA to the VA hospital in Pittsburgh for their appointments there). They are going to cancel trips to the Pittsburgh VA because there is a shortage of drivers. This means veterans will not be able to go to their appointments because they have no transportation. If some one wants to be a driver, contact Karen O’Neal, chief voluntary service at the Erie VA, at (814) 860-2454. Who can drive? Any one that passes a physical. There is no charge for the physical. It was also reported that veterans who use the Erie VA were having trouble with contacting pharmacies to get prescriptions filled. Use My HealtheVet or call toll free (800) 274-8387, Ext. 2262, or (814) 868-6284.

VA Resumes Applications for New Veterans ID Card

After temporarily suspending applications for the recently created veterans identification (ID) cards due to high demand, VA is once again accepting applications. The new veterans ID card was created by the Veterans Identification Card Act of 2015 so veterans who do not have a Veterans Health Identification Card are able to prove their veteran status without having to carry their DD-214. The cards are valid only for proving military service and cannot be used for VA or military benefits. For more information, go to Vets.gov.

Vietnam Wall In Memory Program Accepting Applications

The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund created the In Memory program in 1999 to honor Vietnam veterans whose lives were cut short as a result of their service, such as illnesses associated with Agent Orange exposure, PTSD and other causes. A plaque dedicated near The Wall in 2004 reads “In memory of the men and women who served in the Vietnam War and later died as a result of their service. We honor and remember their sacrifice.” Applications for an In Memory Day ceremony this June are now being accepted. The application deadline is March 9. For more information, go to www.vvfm.org.

POW/MIA Update

Army Pfc. Lloyd J. Lobdell, 23, of Elkhorn, Wis., whose identification was previously announced, will be buried Feb. 2, in the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific.

Army Sgt. 1st Class Richard G. Cushman, 18, of Springville, Utah, whose identification was previously announced, was buried Feb. 3. The Army subsequently declared him deceased as of March 31, 1951.

Army Sgt. Ollie E. Shepard, 22, of Hugo, Okla., whose identification was previously announced, will be buried Feb. 7 in Bradley, Okla. The Army declared him deceased Dec. 31, 1953.

Navy Seaman 1st Class Donald G. Keller was assigned to the USS Oklahoma, which was moored off Ford Island, Pearl Harbor. Interment services are pending.

Navy Fireman 1st Class Leonard R. Geller was assigned to the USS Oklahoma, which was moored off Ford Island, Pearl Harbor. Interment services are pending.

Marine Corps Pfc. Jack H. Krieger was assigned to Company A, 1st Battalion, 18th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, Fleet Marine Force. Interment services are pending.

Army Air Forces 1st Lt. Eugene P. Ford was a member of the 765th Bombardment Squadron, 461st Bombardment Group, 15th Air Force. On Dec. Interment services are pending.

Till next week, praying for all veterans.

– Charles Castelluccio