VVAChapter 781

As discussed during our last state council meeting, we encourage you to consider supporting our local stand down. Please visit our website www.northcoaststanddown.org.

Dear VVA Chapter Presidents: On Oct 3. 4 and 5th 2008 the North Coast Stand Down will be held at the Humboldt County fairgrounds. We would like to invite you and your members to join us in providing a hand up to veterans and their families from Humboldt, Del Norte, Trinity and Mendocino counties.

At last year's event the financial support from the veterans organization was a critical component towards the success of last years North Coast Stand Down. We are once again calling upon our veteran organizations to support this event. North Coast Stand Down is a California nonprofit public benefit corporation that is exempt from federal income tax Internal Revenue Code section 501 (c)(3), Tax ID # 03-0601842. Please mail all donations to North Coast Stand Down, PO Box 1012, Arcata, CA 95518-1012. You can be a sponsor for a $100 or more.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me at (707) 725-6946. Thank you for your support. Yours in Comradeship,

Carl Young
Public Affairs Spokesperson
North Coast Stand Down

For three brief days local volunteers, community leaders and families will be providing the respect, honor and empowerment for our veterans and their families. Volunteers from all over the north coast will gather at the Humboldt County Fairgrounds, veterans and civilians alike, to provide services that has changed the lives of veterans at previous North Coast Stand-downs.

Our mission is to support all veterans. To this end we provide free food, earned benefit information, lodging, PTSD Counseling, haircuts, dental care, transportation, VA Health Care enrollment and eligibility, credit counseling, referral services and supplies. Perhaps even more important, they will be among a group of people who appreciate what they have done for your country. The camaraderie that results is just another positive reason to be here.

It is our hope that we can provide them with whatever it takes to make their lives easier, and the lives of spouses and children. Widows of veterans will find counselors available to help them sort through the benefits they are entitled to.

They have served our country and now it's time for it to come through for them. There's a lot of reasons why we have these stand downs, and they all amount to the same overall goal; to reach out to all veterans and to welcome them home.

This stand down is for them. From a grateful community.
For information on a this community service program: planned for October 3rd-5th 2008, either attending and/or supporting our communities efforts, please contact our Director, Kim Hall (707) 826-6191 or director@northcoaststanddown.org or visit our website www.northcoaststanddown.org.

Please support AB 1952 which has been "double-referred" to the Business & Professions Committee to be heard on April 1st and then the Veterans Affairs Committee shortly thereafter.

Currently, counties and cities use two different laws to waive business license fee waivers for veterans. This can create confusion and inequitable treatment. AB 1952 would conform the two laws, simplify the process for veterans, and ease confusion among local officials.

The Office of Assemblywoman Patty Berg has submitted the amendment to Legislative Council to include a request for municipalities and counties to include the exemption on all future printed forms.

You can read the text of AB 1952 at www.leginfo.ca.gov

What We Need From Our Local Vets:
Assemblywoman Berg is requesting letters from Veterans Organizations and individual veterans expressing support for this legislation. Letters of support may be mailed and/or faxed to the Capitol Office:
Assemblywoman Patty Berg State Capitol P. O. Box 942849 Sacramento, CA 94249-0001 916-319-2101 (fax)
And lastly, we need to push for legislation to fix some of the weasle wording in Title 38 of the Code of Federal Regulations. We are having veterans being held up for medical care because of the wording now in place. The veteran I'm assisting meets the provisions of section 17.53 (111), (noted below) and we're over 200 miles away from Fort Miley. Please share this information with all concerned.

Cite: 38 CFR 17.52 (a) and change the following sentence too read the "VA 'shall' not "may" contract with non-VA facilities for care in accordance with the provisions of this section. I find it sad that a veteran can meet the "tight" criteria of this regulation, and still be denied medical care because the VA deciding not to provide it anyway, because of liability escape clause, in this case the word "may." WE meet, like many other rural area veterans, the need for these services because of geographic inaccessibility to Fort Miley. Too often I run into veterans that are self employed, and the need to take a day and a half off to get care outside our geographic area. Our Rep. at Fort Miley will only reiterate that the VA is "not insurance, it's a health plan." What the hell does that mean, the regulations say one thing about the care that is available, including their limited supply of the information booklets "VA Health Care Overview" which briefly discussed what care is avilable with the VA, but... they may not back-up what their saying by actions. This is total "BS."

Carl Young
Past President, Vietnam Veterans of America
Humboldt Memorial Chapter
"Welcome Home"