Veterans Corner: Happy New Year!

Happy New Year to all of you! Many thanks for your support of active duty personnel, veterans and their families during 2017. I will let you know over the next months how you can help in 2018 because the need has not gone away.

Saying ‘thanks’

Voices For Veterans will have three Stand Downs this year: May 3 in Forks, July 30 in Port Townsend and Oct. 4 in Port Angeles. The other service organizations will have events that you can help with or attend.

Saying “Thank you for your service” is always welcome and appreciated.

Whatever you decide to do in 2018 to support troops, veterans or their families will be much appreciated. Please email me with questions at cdrlgilchrist@gmail.com or those at the end of the column. We appreciate your interest and concern.

Operation Project Veterans

AARP and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service have launched Operation Protect Veterans, a campaign to provide veterans with the information they need to protect themselves from scams, including bogus offers to turn their veterans benefits into cash, modify their VA loans or provide new military benefits.

Go to aarp.org/protect veterans for tips on preventing such scams. If you spot a scam or become the victim of one, call the AARP Fraud Watch Network Helpline at 877-908-3360.

Do not ever give out your social security number or bank account information to anyone who calls you. If you have any doubt, don’t do it. If it is a bonafide offer you will have time to check it out. If it sounds too good to be true it probably is!

Getting help

If you need help or have questions about VA benefits, please contact a local service officer. You can find one at the Sequim VFW, the Sequim American Legion Post or the Veterans Center in Port Angeles. Call Carl Bradshaw for an appointment at 360-461-7460.

You can ask questions of a real person who has your best interests at heart and will help you in any way they can. The American Legion service officers have helped veterans in our county receive over $3.1 million dollars in VA benefits in 2017.

With honors …

The Mount Olympus Detachment #897, Marine Corps League, provides final military honors for our local veterans who have passed away.

Honors are provided by the detachment Honor Guard made up of eight dedicated veterans who at their own expense have provided the three rifle volleys and the playing of “Taps” at 47 funerals, 16 ceremonies and 24 bell-ringings over the past two years. They share the honors with the Legion Riders, who provide a flag line and the folding and presenting of the flag.

If you would like this ceremony for your veteran please let the funeral home know and they will let you know who to contact. A copy of the veterans DD-214 is needed so please know where it is.

For the Four Chaplains

The Jack Grennan Post 62 of the American Legion will host a ceremony at the Post at 107 E. Prairie St., at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 4, honoring the Four Chaplains who went down with the USAT Dorchester on Feb. 3, 1943, as a result of a torpedo attack by a German submarine.

Please come and learn about these courageous men and why we honor them for their selfless acts of courage, compassion and faith all these years later.

All are welcome.

Contributors: American Legion, Carl Bradshaw, thbkdragon@yahoo.com; MOAA & DAR, Lorri Gilchrist, cdrlgilchrist@gmail.com; Marine Corps League, Mark Schildknecht, markisin2day@gmail.com; Korean War Veterans, Jerry Rettela, eletteor@msn.com; Fleet Reserve Association, Marty Arnold, martinarnold2001@yahoo.com; Voices For Veterans, John Brasch, voicesforveterans@yahoo.com; VFW Neil Gamroth, sequimvfwpost4760@gmail.com.

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