Delaware Veterans Coalition

"Veterans Are Our Only Business"

If you agree with our mission of addressing issues that affect all of Delaware's veterans, please consider making a donation to our non-profit organization, Delaware Veterans Coalition. Any amount will be appreciated.

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The Delaware Veterans Coalition’s goal is to keep our website current as a source of information on benefits, opportunities, and events for our readers. Check back often. Please note you can sign up for a free update on veteran-related legislation by clicking on the newsletter registration link on the right. You can also submit an application for membership on the left. Membership is open to all honorably-discharged veterans residing in Delaware at only $20 per year. We meet every other month on the 4th Monday of the month, beginning in January of each year.

Donated bricks surround the Kent County Veterans Memorial ParkWe also support the Kent County Veterans Memorial Park which tributes Gold Star Mother and Families, those lost in Vietnam, Korea, and the Middle East. The park also contains a POW/MIA Chair of Honor, a War Dog memorial and a UH-1 “Huey” Dustoff helicopter perched on an 18-foot stand. The park is financed through the sale of memorial bricks. If you wish to honor a family member or loved one who served, buy a brick to support the memorials, visit the Support the Memorials page.

If you or someone you know has had a traumatic brain injury and needs assistance purchasing/paying for an item or service not covered by insurance, the person may be eligible for funding assistance through the Brain Injury Trust Fund.

For information and an application, visit the website. >
or call Dee at 302-257-3614

It’s that time of the year! Dover International Speedway is providing an awesome opportunity to service members and their families.

USO Delaware is distributing NASCAR tickets for the May 6 Spring Race!

Tickets will be distributed to current military and their immediate dependents (limit 4 per family) Tickets will be distributed out of the USO Delaware center located on DAFB in building 150 from 8am-8pm (while supply lasts).

Service members of the Delaware National Guard and 512th: please contact your public affairs office for instructions on obtaining your tickets.

POC:
Yolanda Bottorf
USO Delaware
Office: 302-677-2491
Cell: 302-423-6368
ybottorf@uso.org

The Vietnam Traveling Memorial Wall is coming to Easton, MD at VFW Post 5118 May 31, 2018. It will be viewable until June 6, 2018.

Opening ceremony and scheduled speakers will start on 01 June 2018 to 05 June 2018.

Download Flyer

If you are currently paying for Tricare services by electronic funds transfer of any kind, you MUST set up a NEW auto payment to continue coverage due to a change in providing contractors.

This notice applies to Tricare Reserve Select, Tricare Retired Reserve, and Tricare Young Adult.

You served us. Now, let us serve you. Our dedicated coordination team will help manage care for injured service members. We provide a full array of options including private duty nursing, intermittent and companion/non-medical care.

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japassab@maxhealth.com
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Recently, Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Secretary Dr. David Shulkin declared suicide prevention his top clinical priority. As part of his prevention effort, effective July 5, 2017, VA began offering veterans with other-than-honorable (OTH) administrative military discharges, an estimated 500,000 veterans, access to the full array of VA services if they require emergency mental health treatment. Former service members may enter the system to use this benefit by visiting a VA emergency room or Vet Center or by calling the Veteran Crisis Line. If it is determined to be a mental health emergency, the veteran may qualify for up to 90 days of care, which can include inpatient, residential, and outpatient care. During this time, the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) and Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA), will work together to determine if the veteran’s mental health issue is related to military service, which would make the veteran eligible for continuing medical care. For more detailed information about this initiative, click here VA Fact Sheet.

The Government Accountability Office reviewed military documents of veterans with OTH discharges between 2011 and 2015, and found that over 13,000 veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury received OTH discharges. According to the military’s policy, these factors should have been considered in the character of discharge decision, but were not. Prior to Secretary Shulkin’s change in policy, these veterans with OTH discharges generally lacked access to VA mental health care services.

Despite VA’s dedicated efforts to reduce veteran suicide, an average of 20 veterans per day take their own lives, 21 percent higher than non-veterans. In order to reduce this number VA established a crisis line and placed suicide prevention coordinator teams at every VA medical center. To date, the crisis line has answered 2.3 million calls, participated in 289,000 chats, replied to 55,000 texts, dispatched emergency services over 61,000 times, and provided over 376,000 referrals to VA suicide prevention coordinators. Most recently, the VA announced its efforts to train all its employees to recognize suicide warning signs to help ensure vulnerable veterans do not fall through the cracks. Recent independent assessments by Altarum and the RAND Corporation, found that the VA provides mental health and suicide prevention services that are superior to the private sector by as much as 30 percent across seven different performance indicators.
VA has made significant improvements in its mental health and suicide prevention services and the Department reports that veterans who choose VA are at lower risk for suicide. Unfortunately, many veterans do not elect to use VA, or they are ineligible to receive care. Secretary Shulkin noted that 70 percent of veterans who commit suicide are not regular VA patients. The most comprehensive study to date covering veteran suicide, published in July 2016, further demonstrates the increased risks for veterans who do not utilize VA services. This study found that since 2001, the rate of veterans using VA services who committed suicide increased by 5.4 percent, compared to an increase of 38.4 percent for those who did not use, or have access to, VA’s health care services. The statistics for female veterans are of particular concern. During the same time period, the rate of female veteran suicide decreased by 2.6 percent for VA users, but increased by 81.6 percent for women veterans who did not use VA services.

While more work is required to eliminate veteran suicide, this new policy to expand mental health care to eligible veterans with OTH military discharges is a step in the right direction. Secretary Shulkin stated, “we want these former service members to know there is someplace they can turn if they are facing a mental health emergency.”

Veterans in crisis should call the Veterans Crisis Line at 800-273-8255 (press 1), or text 838255.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE January 1, 2018

Contact Dick Carter at 302-245-0670

Delaware women veterans invited to participate in Women’s Service Monument

A public meeting about the Delaware Women’s Service Monument will be held in the Senate Hearing Room on the second floor of Legislative Hall, Dover, on Thursday, January 11, from 10 a.m. until noon.

Delaware’s women have served on the fields of war and at home in the First State, and in 2018 their sacrifices will be recognized with a new monument on the grounds of Legislative Hall, according to Dick Carter, chairman of the Delaware Heritage Commission.

The monument also will recognize those who call Delaware their home even though they weren’t born here. While other monuments have acknowledged women’s roles in Delaware history, there are none specifically dedicated to women veterans.

Between March 2003 and December 2017, the United States military suffered 6,930 deaths in the Middle East. Of those, 207 have been women, including Air Force Senior Airman Elizabeth Loncki of New Castle, a 23-year-old explosives expert who died January 7, 2007, in Iraq while she and two others examined a car bomb.

The design will echo that of the state’s World War I commemorative, erected November 4 at the southwest corner of Legislative Hall and stand on the northwest corner of the capital building’s grounds. It will be highlighted with laser-etched images of real Delawareans.

The General Assembly and the Department of State are the lead agencies on the monument and gathering photos for inclusion on the monument but are hoping others will be found in photo albums or family memorabilia representative of all Delaware women.

The Heritage Commission has been working with the Delaware Public Archives and when the dedication takes place, the Heritage Commission will publish a commemorative booklet including many of the photos not used on the structure.

The monument can also can recognize women who never wore the uniform like those who worked at New Castle’s Bellanca Aircraft and five women killed in a March 1943 blast at the Milford Ordinance Company. Mr. Carter is hoping people will contribute photos and personal stories toward the monument project and what it stands for. “We want as much public input as possible,” he said.

Members of the Heritage Commission hope to have the design finalized by the end of January or early February, which includes selecting the six to eight photographs that will represent all Delaware women on the memorial.

Tentative plans are to dedicate the monument around Mother’s Day 2018. To contribute photographs and memorials, contact Dick Carter at 302-245-0670. Photographs and a brief synopsis of each individual can be sent to dick.carter@state.de.us. Image files must be 300 dpi or higher. Photos may also be dropped off at Mr. Carter’s office in Legislative Hall. All originals will be returned.

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The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), in partnership with the United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), is pleased to announce its inaugural Mayor’s Challenge to Prevent Suicide among Service Members, Veterans, and their Families.  SAMHSA’s SMVF TA Center will facilitate the Mayor’s Challenge process, which includes an orientation meeting, a web-based preparation session, and the two-and-a-half-day policy academy in Washington, DC.  Policy academy participants will receive specialized technical assistance aimed at preventing suicide among services for service members, Veterans, and their families through the development of a targeted strategic action plan.

See Original Publication of Press Release on VA website>

For Immediate Release

WASHINGTON– Today the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and the Department of Health and Human Services’ Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) announced the inaugural Mayor’s Challenge to Prevent Suicide among service members, Veterans and their families.

The goal of the Mayor’s Challenge is to eliminate suicide by using a comprehensive public health approach to suicide prevention.

“Of the 20 suicides a day that we reported last year, 14 were not under VA care,” said VA Secretary Dr. David J. Shulkin. “We are pleased to partner with SAMHSA to bring attention, education and support regarding suicide prevention to communities where our Veterans live.”

VA and SAMHSA will invite seven cities to participate in a policy academy process that up until now has been available only to states and territories. The cities will be invited based on Veteran population data, suicide prevalence rates and capacity of the city to lead the way in this first phase of the Mayor’s Challenge.

See SAMHSA Information>

The selected cities will be announced mid-December, once they have formally accepted nominations.

Teams from each of the seven cities will meet March 14-16, 2018, in Washington, D.C., to develop strategic action plans to implement in their communities. The teams will include collaborative groups of community, municipal, military and other stakeholders. VA will provide technical assistance to support local efforts and to document outcomes and share strategies with other municipalities.

Dr. Elinore F. McCance-Katz, assistant secretary for Mental Health and Substance Use at SAMHSA, said, “We must act now to accelerate suicide prevention efforts at the local level, with communities embracing and supporting the health and well-being of our service members, Veterans and their families.”

See Dr. McCance-Katz’s Bio>

Cities interested in learning more about the Mayor’s Challenge, can submit a request for information form HERE

For more information on VA’s suicide prevention campaign>

For information on SAMHSA’s suicide prevention efforts >

Veterans in crisis or having thoughts of suicide — and those who know a Veteran in crisis — should call the Veterans Crisis Line for confidential support 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and 365 days a year.

Call 800-273-8255 and press 1, chat online at VeteransCrisisLine.net/Chat or text to 838255.

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