Veterans Benefits Information guide to VA benefits

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Veterans Benefits Information

Geiger’s vision now etched in stone

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John H. Geiger served as national commander of The American Legion from 1971 to 1972. Nearly 30 years later, he was instrumental in the planning and construction of the Legion's facilities at Fort Benjamin Harrison in Indianapolis.

This morning, Geiger's vision was recognized, as the facility that houses the Legion's Information Technology, Emblem Sales, Fundraising and Membership Services Divisions was renamed the John H. Geiger Operations Center. Geiger, a former architect, passed away Jan. 10.

"John had many visions - not only for this facility, but going back to his architectural experience and many changes in our Washington office and our Indianapolis office," said Past National Commander Jake Comer, a close friend of Geiger. "We are so fortunate ... we had someone like a John Geiger that could be there to handle our present and look to our future with his vision."

The well-attended ceremony also featured remarks from Department of New York Adjutant Dick Pedro, another close friend of Geiger. "He's looking down, and he's got to not only be very proud of this gathering, but of this facility," Pedro said.

Emblem Sales previously was housed in the National Headquarters building in downtown Indianapolis. It's now one of the four divisions located in the 64,500 square foot facility named for Geiger.

"This facility has proven to be what Mr. Geiger envisioned it to be," said Jeff Brown, executive director of the facility and the former director of Emblem Sales. "Past National Commander Geiger's handiwork, his vision, his thoughts and I believe his heart, are embedded in this facility. The staff is proud to now have Commander Geiger's name on this facility, and the staff will endeavor to make sure that Past National Commander John H. Geiger would be proud to have his name here."

"This Operations Center will be a testament to the logistical and organizational vision and talent of this great Legionnaire," National Commander Fang Wong added. "We all know that this magnificent center would not have been built without the support, leadership and vision of PNC Geiger."

Ellen Rosborough, one of Geiger's six children, attended the ceremony, along with her sister, Vivienne Hilderbrand. "Over the years we know how much the Legion meant to our father," Rosborough said. "We thank you very much."

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IDVA to host ‘Helping Our Hometown Heroes’ veterans benefits fair October 14th in Marion

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SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs (IDVA) is hosting a free Helping Our Hometown Heroes benefits fair for veterans on Friday, October 14th at the Marion VFW Post 1301 at 201 E. Longstreet Road in Marion, Ill. The fair will bring federal, state and local agencies and organizations together in one location.

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VA launching national homelessness events

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In 2009, nearly 149,000 veterans spent at least one night in an emergency shelter or transitional housing program. That statistic spurred the Department of Veterans Affairs' mission to end veteran homelessness by 2015.

VA has transformed its programs for at-risk veterans and their families by providing comprehensive, coordinated access to health care, housing, employment, education, job counseling and training, and justice system assistance and benefits. VA expects to spend $3.4 billion this year to provide health care to at-risk veterans and $800 million in specialized homeless programs. Now, VA is kicking off a nationwide campaign to involve individuals at the local level in 28 events across the country.

The events will raise awareness of the VA benefits and community-based support and resources that veterans and their families have earned. They include heath, housing, employment, and job training, not only for veterans who are homeless, but also for those who are at risk of losing their housing. Veterans and their families and friends can access these services through a one-stop hotline, at (877) 424-3838, and an online chat. Both are staffed by trained counselors 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

The American Legion encourages Legionnaires to get involved by spreading the word. If you know someone who is homeless or at-risk of becoming homeless, encourage them to make the call today. If members of your post are interested in supporting one of the 28 events to end veteran homelessness, below is a list of cities and event dates, along with the contact person.

Oct. 12
Anchorage, Alaska - Marcia Hoffman-Devoe, (907) 257-5460
Canandiagua, N.Y. - Dan Ryan, (585) 393-7209
Chicago - Maureen Dyman, (708) 202-5627
Cleveland - David Bachman, (216) 701-4269
Detroit - Alysse Mengason, (313) 576-1000, Ext. 63340
Fayetteville, N.C.: - Ed Drohan, (910) 488-2120, Ext. 5991
Lebanon, Pa. - Scott Harman, (717) 228-6079
Los Angeles - Ralph Tillman, (310) 268-3671
San Diego - Cynthia Butler, (858) 552-4373
Seattle - Jeri Rowe, (206) 764-2589
Sioux Falls, S.D. - Shirley Redmond, (605) 333-6889

Oct. 14
Denver - Jordan Shupbach, (303) 393-5205)
Washington, D.C. - Michelle Spivak, (202) 745-4037

Oct. 17
Oahu & Kauai, Hawaii - Patricia Teran-Matthews, (808) 433-0100
Phoenix - Paula Pedene, (602) 200-6279
St. Louis - Contact: Marcena Gunter, (314) 289-6325

Oct. 18
Dallas - Contact: Monica A. Smith, (214) 857-1158

Oct. 19
San Francisco - Judi Cheary, (415) 750-2250

Oct. 20
Boston - Diane Keefe, (857) 203-5879

Oct. 21
Houston - Bobbi Gruner, (713) 794-7349
Miami - Shane Suzuki, (305) 575-3399
New York - Jennifer Sammartino, (718) 836-6600, Ext. 2804

Oct. 22
New Orleans - Amanda S. Jones, (504) 565-4852

Oct. 29
Atlanta - Gregory Kendall, (404) 417-5385



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VA to Build Polytrauma-Blind Rehabilitation Center in Palo Alto

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The Department of Veterans Affairs has awarded a $98.8 million contract to build a new rehabilitation facility located on the campus of the VA Palo Alto Health Care System.

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Treatment for Brain Injury Lacks Evidence, Panel Finds

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Techniques being used to treat traumatic brain injuries, the signature wounds suffered by troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, appear to be helpful but lack rigorous scientific support, a government-appointed panel found.

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Did you know?

A veteran’s family must request a United States flag.

A flag is provided at no cost to drape the casket or accompany the urn of a deceased veteran. Generally, the flag is given to the next of kin. Only one flag may be provided per veteran. Upon the request of the family, an “Application for United States Flag for Burial Purposes” (VA Form 21-2008) must be submitted along with a copy of the veteran’s discharge papers. Flags may be obtained from VA regional offices and most U.S. Post Offices.