Tag Archives: Vets

Wheelchair Van Ramp Vs. Wheelchair Van Lift

Choosing a wheelchair ramp over a lift system is a matter of budget and personal preference. Both can get you safely in and out of a new or used wheelchair van; however, handicap lowered-floor vans with ramps tend to be less expensive, take up less space and are more fuel-efficient compared to a full-size van, which is used for most wheelchair-lift applications.

Wheelchair Ramps
Wheelchair van conversion ramps normally come in permanent van conversions where the floor is lowered to allow enough headroom for entering and riding in the vehicle. Most lowered-floor vans come with wheelchair ramps and kneeling systems that lower the wheelchair van and reduce the angle of the ramp. There are two styles of wheelchair ramps—one type folds up in a vertical position, and the other type slides out from the floor of the van.

New and used handicapped accessible vehicles with wheelchair ramps come with either a manual or power conversion. Power wheelchair ramps operate by remote control or by a switch located either on the dash or just inside the side-door panel. Push a button and the door slides open, the ramp extends out and, in cases where a kneeling system is needed, the van lowers. (In case of a power failure, the ramp can be easily operated manually.) Guide your wheelchair or mobility scooter inside and push the button or switch, and the system reverses. Manual systems are spring-loaded to easily fold out and retract into the van.

Wheelchair Lifts
A vehicle wheelchair lift is a mechanical device used to raise a person in a wheelchair effortlessly into a vehicle. Wheelchair lifts are typically installed in full-sized vans.

There are several wheelchair lift types: cassette lifts that slide out from under the van, horizontal folding lifts that provide users better vision through the windows, vertical folding lifts that enable passengers to enter the van without deploying the lift, and platform wheelchair lifts, which are the most basic of wheelchair lifts.

Hydraulic lifts are the most common type, since they allow for heavier steel construction and higher lift capacity. The other type is the electric lift, made with lightweight aluminum and lighter lift capacity. Lifts require either a lowered floor or a raised roof to provide enough headroom for wheelchair passengers to ride comfortably inside their chairs.

Wheelchair lifts work when space limitations or height requirements make a ramp prohibitive. Wheelchair lifts are often less expensive than a lowered-floor conversion with a ramp, but there are other considerations that include difficulty parking due to their size, high gas prices, and if the floor isn’t lowered, then the wheelchair user can’t see out the windows.

The WaterFire Salute to Veterans

WaterFire Salute To Veterans 2015

The WaterFire Salute to Veterans is scheduled to take place on November 7th, 2015. This is the third year for this community wide celebration of Veterans. This WaterFire will be a full WaterFire event lighting and solely devoted to saluting and honoring our Veterans and all military personnel of the United States and their families.

Much more than the bonfires, WaterFire presents a wide variety of experiences – traditional to avant-garde and experimental, bringing new audiences to art while filling the city with energy, vibrancy and a new vision for urban life. Programming around this installation varies greatly and WaterFire prides itself on being able to celebrate, champion and highlight various other forms of art, causes, other local organizations and local history. This year WaterFire is proud to honor all of our Veterans with an entire evening dedicated to their service, sacrifice and dedication.

This WaterFire event lighting will include many different activities and initiatives that highlight and celebrate, in both creative and literal representations, all Rhode Island Veterans as well as current members of the armed forces from all branches. The goal is to use the WaterFire platform as a means to educate and bring awareness to the community at large about our Veterans and Veterans Services, as well as serve as a celebration and thank you for the sacrifices that these men and women have made for our country and our community.

Throughout the WaterFire installation there will be many ceremonies and tributes planned over the course of the evening as well as many areas for displays and engagement from Waterplace Basin to Steeple Street to Memorial Park. WaterFire is excited to produce a Veteran’s Resource Fair at the heart of the installation.

Operation Flags for Vets

Operation Flags for Vets

Operation Flags for Vets will be placing 64,000 flags on the graves of our beloved veterans for veterans Day, Flagging will commence following a brief ceremony at 10 AM on Saturday November 7. Please bring a long shank screwdriver to make starter holes for the flags.

Removal will take place on Sunday November 15 at 10 AM.

Tomorrow Is The Greater Boston Stand Down Event!

Greater Boston Stand Down Event

Project 22 – Promoted by Team RWB Boston

Project 22

Tuesday, July 28 7:30PM – 9:12PM
$14.00 General
at Landmark Kendall Square Cinema
Bldg. 1900 One Kendall Square, Cambridge, MA, US, 02139

For more information on this event please visit the Website

Click here to view the trailers!

The making of Project 22
Project 22 was a 22 day, 6,500 mile motorcycle awareness campaign from San Francisco to New York City to raise awareness of the high rate of suicides within the Veteran community. As we traveled across the country, we spoke with many Veterans who had contemplated or attempted suicide and asked them for their stories; what led them to it and what brought them out of it. The responses regarding the challenges were in remarkable unison although the hope they found came in many different forms. We were able to explore the therapeutic potential behind sailing, pottery, education, activism, family, service dogs, painting and more.

We also spoke with leading researchers of Traumatic Brain Injury and Post Traumatic Stress, mental health clinicians and educators, as well as, leading experts in warrior culture and combat stress. Coupled with the insightful and potentially life changing information we captured in interviews, we filmed the motorcycle awareness campaign, including camping, several organized rides and our final ride being escorted into World Trade Center by the Port Authority Police Department. We gathered incredible footage and news coverage in multiple cities, including Pittsburgh and New York.

Project 22 was entirely crowd-funded via an IndieGoGo campaign and private donations. In addition, the crew was offered food, lodging and assistance wherever we rode, helping keep production costs low. Project 22 is fiscally sponsored by From The Heart Productions, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, while Medicinal Missions applies for independent non-profit status. All donations are tax-deductible and are made payable to From The Heart Productions via the PayPal link on our website or by check to: From The Heart Productions 1455 Mandalay Beach Road Oxnard, CA 93035-2845

From The Heart has been successfully funding films since inception in 1993 under the 501(c)3 Internal Revenue Code of 1954. Also classified as a public charity under section 509 (a) (2) of the Code. Monetary donations to the Fiscal Sponsorship Program qualify as charitable contributions under the U.S. Tax Code for 95 444 5418.

The 3rd Annual Vermont Veterans Ride

The 3rd Annual Vermont Veterans Ride

Veterans Assisting Veterans Comedy Night

Veterans Assisting Veterans Comedy Night

Friday May 29 at 7:00
VFW Mottolo Post in Revere
10 Garafolo Street Revere, MA

Check out the Facebook Page and join them for a great night of comedy, Pork Roast Dinner and good times to help raise funds towards two truck mounted AmeriDeck lifts. These are needed to aid in the use of Track Chairs for a couple wounded vets. We also hope to promote and raise awareness of what Veterans Assisting Veterans does and is all about. Donation of $20.00 per person collected at the door.

Project 22

Project 22

The cost will be $12.50 for civilians and FREE for Veterans.
VETERANS STILL MUST CLICK ON THE LINK AND RESERVE THEIR TICKETS!

Tickets will go fast and this will be a one night only show so make sure you get yours today! Just go to www.clickitevents.com to purchase yours!

For those riding, there will be a link up at Harley-Davidson of Frederick and then will have an after party at Hardtimes Cafe And Cue.

Saturday, May 2
at 7:00pm
MDL Holiday Cinemas official
100 Baughmans Ln, Frederick, Maryland 21702

For more information on this event please visit the Website or Facebook Page
Click here to view the trailers!
If you can’t make it to the event but still want to support the cause you can Donate Here!

ALL PROCEEDS WILL BENEFIT 22 NEEDS A FACE

The making of Project 22
Project 22 was a 22 day, 6,500 mile motorcycle awareness campaign from San Francisco to New York City to raise awareness of the high rate of suicides within the Veteran community. As we traveled across the country, we spoke with many Veterans who had contemplated or attempted suicide and asked them for their stories; what led them to it and what brought them out of it. The responses regarding the challenges were in remarkable unison although the hope they found came in many different forms. We were able to explore the therapeutic potential behind sailing, pottery, education, activism, family, service dogs, painting and more.

We also spoke with leading researchers of Traumatic Brain Injury and Post Traumatic Stress, mental health clinicians and educators, as well as, leading experts in warrior culture and combat stress. Coupled with the insightful and potentially life changing information we captured in interviews, we filmed the motorcycle awareness campaign, including camping, several organized rides and our final ride being escorted into World Trade Center by the Port Authority Police Department. We gathered incredible footage and news coverage in multiple cities, including Pittsburgh and New York.

Project 22 was entirely crowd-funded via an IndieGoGo campaign and private donations. In addition, the crew was offered food, lodging and assistance wherever we rode, helping keep production costs low. Project 22 is fiscally sponsored by From The Heart Productions, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, while Medicinal Missions applies for independent non-profit status. All donations are tax-deductible and are made payable to From The Heart Productions via the PayPal link on our website or by check to: From The Heart Productions 1455 Mandalay Beach Road Oxnard, CA 93035-2845

From The Heart has been successfully funding films since inception in 1993 under the 501(c)3 Internal Revenue Code of 1954. Also classified as a public charity under section 509 (a) (2) of the Code. Monetary donations to the Fiscal Sponsorship Program qualify as charitable contributions under the U.S. Tax Code for 95 444 5418.

Current Campaign
Statistically, 22 Veterans of the US Military will take their own lives and 22 families will lose loved ones today due to combat-related stresses and injuries. Project 22 follows two combat-wounded Veterans on a mission to find hope. Riding motorcycles from San Francisco to New York, Daniel and Doc speak with Veterans about post-war challenges that lead to suicide and the healing Veterans are finding in alternative forms of therapy such as sailing, pottery, education, service dogs and more.

During the 6,500 mile journey, our riders interview leading researchers, mental health clinicians and educators who specialize in Traumatic Brain Injury and Post Traumatic Stress, as well as a leading expert in Warrior Culture and Combat Stress. Asking hard hitting questions and opening up about their own struggles, Daniel and Doc will stop at nothing to reach tomorrow’s twenty-two.

Mission Statement
To raise awareness of Veteran suicides and to educate on methods to overcome symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress (PTS) and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) in order to prevent Veteran suicides and make alternative therapies available to Veterans with PTS and TBI.

VA Adaptive Sports Program

Mission Redefined
Your courage, your determination and your drive all led you to serve America proudly. Those same characteristics will also lead to satisfaction and success in adaptive sports. Disabled Veterans of all ages and abilities report better health, new friendships and a better quality of life when participating in adaptive sports. Disabled Veterans who are physically active simply have more fun! To get started, take some time to review the many sports opportunities available to you by reaching out to your VA clinical team.

Get started by learning how disabled Veterans can benefit from adaptive sports. If you have questions, contact them at vacoadaptiveSP@va.gov.

2015 Schedule of National Events
2014 Annual Report to Congress

The Grant Program
The Grants for Adaptive Sports Programs for disabled Veterans and Members of the Armed Forces (ASG Program) provides grant funding to organizations to increase and expand the quantity and quality of adaptive sport activities disabled Veterans and members of the Armed Forces have to participate in physical activity within their home communities, as well as more advanced Paralympic and adaptive sport programs at the regional and national levels. Learn more»

Training Allowance
Interested in becoming a Paralympic athlete?
The VA National Veterans Sports Programs & Special Events Office provides a monthly assistance allowance for disabled Veterans as authorized by 38 U.S.C. 322(d) and Section 703 of the Veterans’ Benefits Improvement Act of 2008 for qualifying athletes training in Paralympic sports.

Through the program, VA will pay a monthly allowance to a Veteran with either a service-connected or non-service-connected disability if the Veteran meets the minimum military standards or higher (e.g., Emerging, Talent Pool, National Team) in his or her respective sport at a recognized competition. Besides making the military standard, an athlete must also be nationally or internationally classified by his or her respective sport federation as eligible for Paralympic competition within six or 12 months of a qualifying performance.

Athletes must also have established training and competition plans and are responsible for turning in monthly and quarterly reports in order to continue receiving the monthly assistance allowance. The allowance rate for an athlete approved for monetary assistance is the same as the 38 U.S.C. Chapter 31 Vocational Rehabilitation & Employment (VR&E) rate, which in FY 2013 ranged from $585.11 up to $1,104.64 per month, depending on the number of dependents.

Download the VA Training Allowance Standards

Download the VA Training Allowance Briefing

To learn more about the specific sport standards or the monthly assistance allowance, email them at vacoadaptiveSP@va.gov.

2015 National Veterans Golden Age Games

2015 National Veterans Golden Age Games

#22KILL: Battle Buddy

Become a Veterans’ Advocate and “Battle Buddy”
You do not have to be a trained professional to help someone in need. You don’t have to be a veteran to empathize with their situation. People in a crisis sometimes just need someone to talk to because they feel alone and unheard by those who are closest to them.  They may feel too ashamed to call out for help from their friends and family and can benefit from speaking to an anonymous individual.  By not feeling judged, they can feel more comfortable about opening up and and talking about their situation.

Criteria:

  • Have a genuine love and respect for veterans and all active military members. You do not have to be a veteran.
  • Have a cell phone, and be willing to take calls/texts at any time from a veteran wanting to talk

Roles/Responsibilities:
As a Battle Buddy, you will have a profile listed on www.22kill.com’s  public directory, and veterans in crisis will be able to find you and call you if they want to talk. Your commitment is to simply be someone who cares and to listen if a veteran ever calls. That’s it. Don’t judge; don’t push. Just having someone to talk to who genuinely cares and will listen can make a substantial difference. If you do feel there is a crisis, you can call 911 or have someone else call.

 If you are not comfortable with being a Battle Buddy there are other ways you can help as a Veterans’ Advocate. We encourage you to join Team #22KILL in connecting and growing the veteran support system. Become a volunteer for their events and community projects, and share their page with your network of friends, family, and every veteran you know.

Sign up and become a Battle Buddy today!
Please Visit www.22kill.com for more information

Department of Veteran Affairs: Making Mobility Equipment Accessible & Affordable

The Department of Veteran Affairs is a great resource for making mobility equipment accessible and affordable through available benefits. There are several options available to shoppers for new equipment as well as those looking for upgrades with their current equipment.

One option is to accept a special benefit allowance for automobiles. These funds are available for modifications covered in the Automobile Adaptive Equipment (AAE) program for existing vehicles- from mini-vans to motor homes. One should check with the local VA office to make sure criteria are met before making a purchase for a specialized vehicle. The application for adaptive equipment is also titled VAF 10-1394. Find more specific information about modifications and the list of required documents for reimbursement by following this link to the VA program profile.

Once in ownership of a modified vehicle, the VA helps cover some repairs however, regular maintenance is not covered. The VA typically allows for two vehicles to be purchased or modified in a 4-year period and exceptions are made for instances of theft, fire, accident, court or legal actions, costly repairs and changes in the driver’s medical needs that would require a new vehicle.

A second option deals with the prescription of orthotic equipment such as wheelchairs and mobility scooters. Once a veteran is assessed to need mobility equipment by the VA and its doctors- an approved and accredited firm helps fit the veteran in need the top of the line orthotic equipment.  For a list of these firms, follow this link.

Veteran Art Project

Veteran Art Project - Lt. Ricky Ryba

Veteran Art Project

Wars end, soldiers return. Uniforms are folded and pictures placed on the mantle. And though new lives begin, veterans carry their service with them long after they return home.

For many, reintegration is coming to terms with those two halves: the veteran and the civilian made anew.

That bifurcated existence is the basis for the Veteran Art Project, a captivating visual experiment by a 27-year-old photographer who is exploring a part of the veteran’s experience that is sometimes difficult to articulate.

The idea is simple enough: Devin Mitchell, a junior at Arizona State University, finds a room, a mirror and a subject, and then takes two pictures. One is a picture of the subject in uniform, the other in civilian attire. Afterward, Mitchell uses Photoshop to combine the two.

The first photo, which was taken this past August, shows a man staring into his bathroom mirror and adjusting his suit. Staring back is the same man, Lt. Ricky Ryba, in blue Navy fatigues. The resulting image transcends time and place.

The photos are published on Instagram for ease of access. Mitchell calls his work “artistic journalism,” and notes that the only prerequisites for his subjects are that they are veterans and that they can still fit into their uniforms.

“I don’t interview them, all I ask is if they’re veteran and if I can come and take their picture,” Mitchell said. “This is an opportunity for people to speak without having to say something.”

Initially, Mitchell had a difficult time finding people interested in being photographed, but after picture 13, he says, his inbox was flooded.

 

Holiday Mail for Heroes: Give Something That Means Something

Holiday Mail for Heroes- Give Something that means something 2014

Program Overview

With many service members and veterans separated from their families this holiday season due to deployments and hospital stays, the American Red Cross Holiday Mail for Heroes (HMFH) program empowers people to “Give Something That Means Something” by sending a card of thanks and support to the members of the Armed Forces, veterans and their families.

Beginning in 2014, the program will take on a different look, as Red Cross chapters across the continental U.S. and Red Cross offices on military installations overseas will take complete control of the program. There will no longer be a national Holiday Mail for Heroes P.O. Box to which cards are sent.

Moving forward, local Red Cross offices will collect, sort, and distributing the holiday cards using an events-based approach in their local communities. Local Red Cross offices will:

  1. Hold events to sign or make holiday cards
  2. Schedule card-sorting times.
  3. Coordinate card delivery to the military, vets and families in their communities.

These changes will allow local Red Cross offices to better concentrate on reaching out to the members of the military, veterans and families in their community—neighbors helping neighbors.

Questions & Answers

What is the Holiday Mail for Heroes Program?
The Red Cross Holiday Mail for Heroes program enables Americans to “Give Something That Means Something” this holiday season. We are inviting the public to send cards of thanks, encouragement and holiday cheer to members of our U.S. Armed Forces, veterans and military families, many of whom will be far away from home this holiday season.

What is the address of the P.O. Box for the program?
There is no longer a national P.O. Box for the program. Instead, Holiday Mail for Heroes is being conducted at the Red Cross office in your local community. Check with your local Red Cross for times and locations of events and for opportunities to get involved.

Why is the Red Cross changing the format of the program?
We have made this change for several reasons including:

  • A reduction in U.S. military forces overseas, particularly in the Middle East and across Europe.
  • Increased costs of conducting the program.

I contacted my local Red Cross office and they are not participating in the program this year. Where do I send my cards?
There are two options for sharing your holiday cards:

  • Ask your local Red Cross office for military and veterans organizations in your community where you can send your cards directly.
  • Check the participating chapters tab for updated information regarding the closest Red Cross chapter in your area participating in Holiday Mail for Heroes.

I don’t know anyone in the military; how do I participate?
You don’t need to know anyone in the military. Red Cross workers will distribute cards to members of the military and veterans around the world. Contact your local Red Cross for times and locations of card-signing and card-making events.

Cards are not addressed to anyone specific, so who gets these cards?
Participating Red Cross chapters will determine how to best distribute cards to service members, veterans and family members in their local communities, across the nation and around the world. Cards may be delivered individually, included in care packages or displayed at common venues in military installations and hospitals.

Can I drop cards off at my local Red Cross office?
Yes.

Will my card be distributed to our troops stationed overseas?
Cards are distributed to hundreds of locations domestically and around the world, including military installations, military and VA medical facilities and veterans organizations. Please understand that it is difficult to determine which cards will be sent overseas and which will be sent domestically.

What is the goal for the 2014 Holiday Mail for Heroes Program?
The goal is to share season’s greeting and holiday cheer to the members of our Armed Forces. We do not have a goal for a total number of cards.

Are there other restrictions and guidelines for cards?
In order to make cards as meaningful as possible to a wide audience, we recommend that the public use generic titles such as “Dear Service Member, Veteran, or Military Family Member” when writing the cards. Cards should not contain glitter because some cards may end up at the bedside of a wounded service member and the glitter could aggravate existing health issues.

Can I include calling cards, money or other items in the cards?
We ask that people not enclose any items with the holiday cards. Any items enclosed with the holiday cards will be removed, including photos and other gifts. If you wish to provide financial support for Red Cross services to the military, please donate online.

How can people get involved in the Holiday Mail program beyond mailing a card?
  • Word of Mouth: Check with your local Red Cross office for up-to-date information about the program.
  • Social Media: Connect with fellow card senders through social media channels and help us get the word out through Facebook and Twitter. Be sure to use the hashtag #holidaymail.
  • Help Sort and Deliver Cards: If you are interested in helping sort and deliver cards, please contact a participating chapter in your area to see how you can help.

How can people support other Red Cross programs that help members of the military and their families?
Supporting Red Cross Service to the Armed Forces work is simple and we encourage you to make a financial donation by donating online or calling 1-800-RED CROSS.

**Contact your local Red Cross chapter directly to find out if they are participating**

Tri Town Veterans Day Commemoration 2014

Tri Town Veterans Day Commemoration 2014

Honoring those who served on Veterans Day

BRIDGEWATER | EAST BRIDGEWATER | WEST BRIDGEWATER

Parade and ceremony: The Tri-Town Parade steps off at 10 a.m. Tuesday from Spring Hill Avenue and travels on Summer Street, Route 104 and Route 28 to Legion Field. There will be a ceremony at Legion Field gazebo. Collation for parade participants will be at the Veterans Club on Cottage Street.

MIDDLEBORO

Parade and ceremony: Parade starts at 10 a.m. Tuesday at Town Hall. A ceremony will take place at the Middleboro Veterans Memorial Park on the Town Hall lawn after the parade. The parade will be cancelled if it rains, but a ceremony will take place at 10 a.m. in the ballroom at the Town Hall.

BROCKTON

Parade and ceremony: Parade steps off at 10 a.m. Tuesday from the War Memorial Building, 156 West Elm St., and concludes with a ceremony at the Veterans of All Wars Monument on Legion Parkway.

RAYNHAM

School program: The 12th annual Veterans Day program is set for 9 a.m. Monday in the gymnasium at Raynham Middle School and includes guest speakers and entertainment by the school students. All residents who have served in the military, including the Reserves, are invited to attend and receive a show of support from the community.

TAUNTON

Breakfast: A pancake breakfast will be held from 8 to 11 a.m. Tuesday at Coyle Cassidy High School, 2 Hamilton St. Cost is $5 is those age 12 and older, $3 for ages 3-11. Proceeds will assist in purchasing and placing memorial markers at veterans’ gravesites in Taunton.

CARVER

Breakfast: 8:30 a.m. Tuesday at United Parish of Carver, 115 Main St. All Carver veterans will be served at no charge.

ABINGTON | ROCKLAND | WHITMAN

Parade: The annual Tri-Town Parade steps off at 9 a.m. Tuesday from Summit and Union streets in Rockland. The parade is hosted on an alternating basis by Abington, Whitman and Rockland.

EASTON

Parade and ceremony: Parade kicks off at 11 a.m. Tuesday at Washington Plaza and proceeds up Main Street to the World War I Memorial for a ceremony, continues to Veterans Memorial Park and the World War II, Korean and Vietnam Memorial for a ceremony.

HALIFAX

Ceremony: A brief ceremony at 9 a.m. Tuesday at Town Hall, 499 Plymouth St., includes the laying of wreaths at the various monuments near the Town Hall and a few words from attendees.

PEMBROKE

Ceremony: A ceremony at 11 a.m. Tuesday at Pembroke Middle School, 559 School St., will include guest speakers and a performance by the Pembroke High School Chorus.

RANDOLPH

Breakfast and march: Breakfast starts at 9 a.m. Tuesday at the VFW hall, 10 Highland Ave. At 10:30 a.m., a group will march from the VFW to the war memorial outside the Turner Free Library in Crawford Square.

STOUGHTON

Flags for gravesites: Flags will be placed at veterans’ graves on Saturday at the Holy Sepulcher and Evergreen cemeteries. Refreshments will be served at the VFW afterward.

Parade and ceremony: The parade starts at 9 a.m. Tuesday at VFW Post 1645, Washington Street; stops at Town Hall for a ceremony and wreath-laying at the Memorial Bell; forms again on Pearl Street and travels to Faxon Veterans Memorial Park for a ceremony; and proceeds on Walnut Street and Washington Street back to the VFW. Collation is at noon at VFW, 837 Washington St.

Hope For Heroes: Homeless Veteran Drive

Hope For Heroes - Homeless Veteran Drive

Event:
Hope For Heroes
Homeless Veteran Drive
“Support those who supported U.S.”

When:
November 7-11 2014

What Can You Do?

Donate! Hope For Heroes is collecting items to be donated to homeless Veterans residing at three Massachusetts Veteran Shelters. The following items are needed:

  • Sweaters, Turtlenecks, Thermal Underwear, Belts (All Sizes)
  • Functional Computers/Software
  • Gift Cards to Supermarkets, Drug Stores and/or Department Stores
  • Toiletry Items (Shampoo, Shaving Cream, Razors)
  • Pillows, Pillow Cases, Blankets, Sheets for Twin Beds
  • Wool Knit Hats, Scarves, Gloves
  • Disposable Diapers
  • Bras (Sizes C and D Preferred)
  • Padlocks
  • Gift Wrap and Supplies
  • Gently Worn Male/Female Business Clothing (For Job Interviews)

Collection Location
Milford Nissan: (508) 422-8000
320 East Main Street (Route 16) Milford, MA 01757

Drop Off Times:

  • Friday: November 7th 8am – 6pm
  • Saturday: November 8th 8am – 5pm | 10am – 12 Noon: WMRC Radio (1490am) LIVE Remote Broadcast
  • Sunday: November 9th 12pm – 5pm
  • Monday: November 10th 8am – 8pm
  • Tuesday November 11th (Veterans Day) 8am – 8pm
    8am – 11am Chef Barry Keefe (Dinner & Co. Gourmet Catering) will provide FREE Breakfast Sandwiches to anyone making a donation.

2014 Veterans Day Free Meals and Discounts

Veterans Day is soon approaching and there are many restaurants and companies who want to thank our veterans by providing them with discounts or a free meal. To those companies offering veterans a free meal or discount, we thank you!

Please Note:

  • Most companies require some form of Proof of Military Service. These include: a Military ID Card (active/reserve/retired), Current Leave and Earnings Statement (LES), Drivers License with Veterans Designation, Photograph in uniform, be wearing uniform (if your service permits), Veterans Organization Card (e.g., American Legion and VFW), DD214, discharge paperwork, or other form of identification. Other restaurants and companies may go by the honor system.
  • Second, always call ahead to verify locations, times, and participation. Many of the listed companies are franchises and may have different policies.
  • Visit WWW.TheMilitaryWallet.com for more information and updates. They do their best to keep their page up to date.

2014 Veterans Day Free Meals and Discounts

Applebee’s – free meal, Nov. 11, 2014:
Last year, Applebee’s served over one million free meals to military veterans and active service-members. Applebee’s is again offering a free meal to military veterans and active-duty service members on Veterans Day, Tuesday, Nov. 11, 2014. There will be 7 entrées to choose from, beverage and gratuity not included. Military ID or proof of service required. Click here for more information.

BJs Restaurant and Brewhouse, Nov. 11, 2014:
Complimentary lunch entree, up to $9.95 value. Offer valid to all active duty military and veterans, with proof of service. Click Here For Locations.

Bob Evans, Nov. 11, 2014:
Free All you can eat hotcakes. For active duty military and veterans with ID or proof of service. Click here for Locations.

California Pizza Kitchen, Nov. 11, 2014:
Choose a pizza, full size salad, or pasta from the special Veterans Day Menu. Dine-in only. Please come in uniform or bring your military I.D. or other proof of service. Click here for Locations.

Carraba’s, Nov. 11, 2014:
Free appetizer of your choice for active duty service-members and veterans. Military ID or proof of service required. Click here for Locations.

Cattlemens Steakhouse, Nov. 11, 2014:
Free 8 oz Sirloin Steak Dinner and beverage on Veterans Day. Proof of service required. Click here for Locations.

CentraArchy Restaurants, Nov. 11, 2014:
Free meal with proof of service at participating restaurants, including Burrito Loco, California Dreaming, Carolina Roadhouse, ChopHouse New Orleans, ChopHouse ’47, Gulfstream Café, Joey D’s Oak Room, and New York Prime. Click here for Locations.

Charlie Brown’s Steakhouse, Nov. 11, 2014:
Free meal for active and former military members with ID or other valid proof of service. Click here for Locations.

Chili’s – free meal, Tuesday, Nov. 11 2014:
Chili’s is offering all military veterans past and present their choice of one of 7 meals during the dinner hour, or any lunch combo during lunch. Offer only available at participating Chili’s in the U.S. only. Dine-in from limited menu only; beverages and gratuity not included. Veterans and active duty military simply show proof of military service. Click here for Locations.

Cotton Patch Café, Nov. 11, 2014:
Free meal for current and former military members. Choices include full-size chicken fried steak, or chicken fried chicken. Proof of service required. Click here for Locations.

Country Cookin, Nov. 11, 2014:
Free meal for current and former military. Proof of service required. Click here for Locations.

East Coast Wings, Nov. 11, 2014
Free Appetizer or Desert. Proof of service required. Click here for Locations.

Einstein Bros Bagels, Nov. 11, 2014:
Free coffee at participating locations. Available to all active duty members and veterans with ID or proof of service. Click here for Locations.

Fatz Eatz & Drinkz, Nov. 11, 2014:
Free meal for current and former military members, up to $13.00 value. Proof of service required. Click here for Locations.

Fire & Ice Grill & Bar, Nov. 11, 2014:
Free meal for military and veterans. Proof of service required. Click here for Locations.

Friendly’s, Nov. 11, 2014:
Free breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Breakfast offering is free a Big Two Do breakfast, which includes a coffee and the choice between French toast, buttermilk pancakes, or regular toast along with bacon or sausage links, and some eggs. Lunch or dinner includes an All-American Burger served with fries and a beverage. Offer available for active military and veterans with ID or discharge papers. Participating locations only. Click here for Locations.

Golden Corral – Free meal, Monday Nov. 17, 2014 (5pm – 9pm):
The 14th annual Golden Corral Military Appreciation Monday dinner will is available to any person who has ever served in the United States Military. If you are a veteran, retired, currently serving, in the National Guard or Reserves, you are invited to participate in Golden Corral’s Military Appreciation Monday dinner. Click here for more information.

Special thanks to Golden Corral: To date, Golden Corral restaurants have provided over 4 million free meals and contributed over $8.7 million to the Disabled American Veterans organization. Amazing!

Hooters, Nov. 11, 2014:
Tuesday, Nov. 11, Hooters invites all veterans and current servicemen and women to enjoy a free meal, up to $10.99 in value with any drink purchase, by presenting a military ID or proof of service at any Hooters location across the country. Click here for Locations.

Hoss’s Family Steak & Sea House, Nov. 11, 2014:
Free meal form the American Values Menu, Nov. 11 from 11:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. Includes soup, salad, desert, and beverage. Dine-in only, valid ID or proof of service required. Click here for Locations.

Krispy Kreme – Free doughnut and small coffee, Nov. 11, 2014:
Available only at participating Krispy Kreme stores. Offer available to all active-duty, retirees, & veterans. Be sure to call ahead to verify your local Krispy Kreme is participating. Click here for Locations.

Lone Star Steakhouse, Nov. 11, 2014:
All veterans and active duty military will be eligible for a free Starter. ID or proof of service required. Please call ahead for verification. Click here for Locations.

LongHorn Steakhouse, Nov. 11, 2014:
Complimentary Texas Tonion and non-alcoholic beverage. Offer good for Veterans and active-duty military members. Proof of service required. Visit their site to Click here for Locations.

Max & Erma’s, November 11, 2014:
Participating Max & Erma’s locations are offering military members and veterans a free Best Cheeseburger in America Combo, which includes tortilla soup or side Caesar salad, seasoned fries, and chocolate chip cookies. Dine-in only. Call ahead to verify participation. ID or proof of service required. Click here for more information. Click here for Locations.

McCormick & Schmick’s Seafood Restaurants – free lunch or dinner, Sunday Nov 9, 2014: McCormick & Schmick’s is celebrating their 16th annual Veteran’s Appreciation Event on Sunday, November 9th. Veterans will be able to choose a complimentary lunch or dinner entrée from a special menu. Veterans must provide proof of military service. Be sure to contact your local McCormick & Schmick’s as this is valid at participating restaurants only. Also, space is limited and reservations are highly recommended. Click here for more information.

Menchie’s, Nov. 11, 2014:
All veterans and current service-members will receive a free 6 oz. frozen yogurt on Veterans Day. Click here for Locations.

Noah’s Bagles, Nov. 11, 2014:
Free coffee for active duty and veterans. Proof of service required. Click here for Locations.

Orange Leaf, Nov. 11, 2014:
Free frozen yogurt (up to 11 0z.). Proof of service required. Click here for Locations.

Outback Steakhouse – Nov. 11, 2014:
Outback Steakhouse is honoring America’s military veterans by offering active duty military and veterans a free Bloomin’ Onion and a non-alcoholic beverage. This offer is available to Military Personnel and veterans with ID. Also receive 15% off your purchase from Nov. 12-Dec 31, 2014. Click here for Locations.

Perkin’s Restaurant & Bakery, Nov. 11, 2014:
Participating restaurants are offering current service-members and veterans a free Magnificent Seven meal which includes two eggs, three buttermilk pancakes, and a choice of two bacon strips or two sausage links. Beverage not included. Call ahead to verify participation. ID or proof of service required. Click here for Locations.

Pinnacle Entertainment (Casino Chain), Nov. 11, 2014:
Select locations are offering a free buffet meal for current military members and veterans. ID or proof of service required. Click here for more information and locations.

Red Hot & Blue, Nov. 10-12, 2014:
Free Entrée with purchase of another entrée of equal or greater value. Coupon. Proof of Service required. Click here for more information.

Red Lobster – Monday, Nov. 10 – Thursday Nov. 13, 2014:
Free Appetizer on Veterans Day with military ID or proof of service. Vets may choose from a select list of appetizers. Click here for locations.

Rib City (St. Louis, Missouri), Nov. 11, 2014:
50% Military Appreciation Meal Discount everyday to all Veterans and Active Duty Military. Eat in or carry out. (Des Peres and Cottleville, MO) Click here for more information.

Shoney’s, Nov. 11, 2014:
Free All-American Burger to veterans and active duty servicemembers. Dine-in only, Proof of Service required. Click here for more information. Click here for Locations.

Sizzler Restaurants, Nov. 11, 2014:
Free lunch served until 4pm. Choice of 3 entrees, and a free coffee, tea, or fountain drink. Valid with proof of military service. Dine-in only, not valid for salad bar or gratuity. Click here for Locations.

StarBucks, Nov. 11, 2014:
Free tall brewed coffee for active duty, veterans, and their spouses. Participating stores only. Please call ahead.

Tap House Grill, Nov. 11, 2014. Free meal for service-members and veterans with proof of service. Dine-in only. Click here for Locations.

Texas De Brazil Churrascaria, Nov. 11, 2014:
50% off for all current and former service-members at participating locations (please call ahead). Click here for Locations.

Texas Land and Cattle Steak House, Nov. 11, 2014:
Free appetizer or shared plate for current service-members and veterans. ID or proof of service is required. Click here for Locations.

Tim Hortons, Nov. 11, 2014:
All US locations are offering a free donut to all active duty servicemembers and veterans. No purchase necessary. Proof of service required. Click here for Locations.

Travel Centers of America, Nov. 11, 2014:
Free meal for CDL holders who are also veterans. Participating locations only; proof of service required. Click here for more information.

Twin Peaks, Nov. 11, 2014:
Free meal for current and former service-members with proof of service or valid ID. Click here for Locations.

Uno Chicago Grill, Nov. 11, 2014:
Free individual pizza or entrée with the purchase of a pizza or entrée of equal or greater value. Available for all active duty and veterans. No coupon necessary; proof of service required. Don’t forget to tell the staff you are there that day to support Fisher House, and a portion of your party’s check will go to benefit the Fisher House Foundation, an awesome military charity. Click here for Locations.

54th Street Grill, Nov. 11, 2014:
Free meal, up to $12 value, valid for current and former service members, proof of service required Click here for more information. Click here for Locations.

**** For updates and new information visit WWW.TheMilitaryWallet.com. ****

Veteran’s Comedy Night

Disabled And Limbless Veterans
Proudly Present
Veteran’s Comedy Night

vet comedy nightEvent Information

When?
Monday November 10, 2014
The show starts at 7:30pm
Doors Open at 6:00pm

Where?
Timothy’s225 Newbury Street, Route 1
Danvers, MA 01923

How Much?
Tickets: $30.00

The Show is Featuring:
Tom Gilmore
Jimmy Tingle
Mike Donovan
and
A Special Guest Appearance

For More Information Call:
Mike: 781-352-3575
or
Dom: 617-538-3632

Veterans! 18 More Days to Enter The Star Spangled Salute Contest

WIN a Brand New 2015 Toyota Sienna VMI Northstar Access 360 Wheelchair Van!

VMI’s Star Spangled Salute
The 2nd Annual Operation Independence Star Spangled Salute Veteran Contest has now been launched by VMI (Vantage Mobility International) alongside Toyota Motor Sales USA. Enter for your chance to win a brand new 2015 Toyota Sienna with a VMI Access 360 in-floor ramp conversion system.

Eligibility
Only U.S. disabled veterans are eligible to win the free mobility van. If you are a disabled veteran or would like to enter the contest on a veteran’s behalf, simply fill out the form. Only one-entry per household.

Contest Details

  • Registrar to win a 2015 Toyota VMI Wheelchair Van
  • Entries must be submitted by 11/09/14
  • Winner announced Veterans Day, 11/11/14

Important Dates

  • 04/02/2014 – VMI will begin accepting The Star Spangled Salute entries
  • 11/09/2014 – The Star Spangled Salute Entries End
  • 11/11/2014 – VMI will draw and announce The Star Spangled Salute on Veterans Day
  • 12/31/2014 – The Star Spangled Salute Winner MUST claim prize before December 31, 2014


Terms and Conditions:

The 2014 Operation Independence Star Spangled Salute campaign is valid from April 2, 2014 to November 9, 2014 for all Disabled U.S. Veterans.

Winner will be randomly drawn and announced on November 11, 2014 and must show proof of military service. Winner will receive any 2015 Toyota Sienna with the VMI Northstar Conversion; no exceptions will be made.

No purchase necessary. Valid in the United States only. Limit one entry per household. Entries may be made at www.vans4vets.com or by calling 800-488-6148.

If the winner already purchased their Toyota VMI Northstar conversion between April 2, 2014 and November 10, 2014 – they can elect to be reimbursed for their out of pocket cost of the wheelchair accessible Toyota VMI Northstar minivan by December 31, 2014. Reimbursement will be coordinated between VMI and the winner directly if the vehicle was purchased prior to the winner being announced.

Campaign is not valid on any added accessories. Winner is responsible for the payment of applicable taxes and registration fees. Prize must be claimed by December 31, 2014 and is non-transferable. No exceptions will be made.

#22KILL Vet Run – To Honor Those Who Serve

#22KILL Vet Run - To Honor Those Who Serve

#22KILL Vet Run Fundraiser

Saturday, November 1st, 2014

#22KILL Vet Run is a one-day motorcycle fundraising event that’s open to everyone who supports veterans. You don’t have to ride a motorcycle to come support.

Join them as they honor our nation’s military and veterans. Proceeds will benefit Veterans through 3 vetted local nonprofit organizations: Operation Once in a Lifetime, Hooves for Heroes and Center for Brain Health’s Warrior Programs.

Check-in begins at 9:00am on the day of the event at Maverick Harley-Davidson, or you can register online now.

Single rider registration is $22, or $25 with a passenger / sidecar. If you want to ride along in a vehicle, you can register for $10. Any donations simply to support are welcomed and appreciated.

There will be live music, food & drinks, and a 50/50 raffle. Don’t forget to purchase a ticket for a chance to win a #22KILL Ducati.

Route (TBD) begins at
Maverick Harley-Davidson
1845 N Interstate 35E
Carrollton, TX

And ends at
Gas Monkey Bar N Grill
10261 Technology Blvd W
Dallas, TX 75220

For questions or concerns, please contact Jimmy Mackin at
jim@veteran.me
972-835-0876

Donate

Veterans!! Don’t Miss Your Chance To Win A Free 2015 Toyota Sienna Wheelchair Van

Calling All Veterans! Enter 'The Star Spanged Salute' Today For Your Chance To Win!

VMI’s Star Spangled Salute
The 2nd Annual Operation Independence Star Spangled Salute Veteran Contest has now been launched by VMI (Vantage Mobility International) alongside Toyota Motor Sales USA. Enter for your chance to win a brand new 2015 Toyota Sienna with a VMI Access 360 in-floor ramp conversion system.

Eligibility
Only U.S. disabled veterans are eligible to win the free mobility van. If you are a disabled veteran or would like to enter the contest on a veteran’s behalf, simply fill out the form. Only one-entry per household.

Contest Details

  • Registrar to win a 2015 Toyota VMI Wheelchair Van
  • Entries must be submitted by 11/09/14
  • Winner announced Veterans Day, 11/11/14

Important Dates

  • 04/02/2014 – VMI will begin accepting The Star Spangled Salute entries
  • 11/09/2014 – The Star Spangled Salute Entries End
  • 11/11/2014 – VMI will draw and announce The Star Spangled Salute on Veterans Day
  • 12/31/2014 – The Star Spangled Salute Winner MUST claim prize before December 31, 2014


Terms and Conditions:

The 2014 Operation Independence Star Spangled Salute campaign is valid from April 2, 2014 to November 9, 2014 for all Disabled U.S. Veterans.

Winner will be randomly drawn and announced on November 11, 2014 and must show proof of military service. Winner will receive any 2015 Toyota Sienna with the VMI Northstar Conversion; no exceptions will be made.

No purchase necessary. Valid in the United States only. Limit one entry per household. Entries may be made at www.vans4vets.com or by calling 800-488-6148.

If the winner already purchased their Toyota VMI Northstar conversion between April 2, 2014 and November 10, 2014 – they can elect to be reimbursed for their out of pocket cost of the wheelchair accessible Toyota VMI Northstar minivan by December 31, 2014. Reimbursement will be coordinated between VMI and the winner directly if the vehicle was purchased prior to the winner being announced.

Campaign is not valid on any added accessories. Winner is responsible for the payment of applicable taxes and registration fees. Prize must be claimed by December 31, 2014 and is non-transferable. No exceptions will be made.

Attention Homeless and At-Risk Veterans – We Want To Honor and Serve You

The Massachusetts Stand Down is ONE DAY ONLY on Friday August 22, 2014

Event Location
IBEW Local 103
256 Freeport Street Dorchester

Registration
Veterans MUST Bring Proof of Military Service
Hours: 8:00am 4:00pm
No Administration after registration closes

Contact Information
Call: 6175228086
Email: veteran@voamass.org
Or Log On To: www.voamass.org

Free Services Include
Housing Assistance * Job Assistance * Legal Assistance * Education * Mass Health * Medical Aid
Eye Glasses
* Hair Cuts * Foot Care * Oral Health and Dental Screening * Clothing * VA Benefits * Child Support
VA Boston Healthcare System Registration
* Mental Health Counseling * Counseling * Food Stamps
HIV/Aids Resources
* Female Veteran Programs * Voter Registration * Massachusetts ID and Driver License Renewals

What Is The Massachusetts Stand Down?
“Stand Down” is a military term referring to the brief period of time a soldier leaves an active combat area in order to rest and regain strength. Today, Stand Down refers to a grassroots, community based intervention program designed to help the nation’s homeless veteran population.

This event has served as a way of bringing a wide range of specialized resources to help the city’s veterans facing a wide range of problems, from homelessness to mental health needs and everything in between. Stand Down is a once a year opportunity for homeless and at-risk veterans to access a broad spectrum of services in one location

Volunteer
The Massachusetts Stand Down depends on a large number of volunteers to help serve over 1,000 Veterans.
Volunteer areas include:
Veteran and Volunteer Registration * Friendly Site Guide * Clothing Tent * Food Preparation and Service * Family Tent

2014 Stand Down Volunteer Application
For questions about volunteering at Stand Down, contact Melita Little at mlittle@voamass.org or 617-522-8086.

Donate
To find out how you or your business can donate time and services, please contact:

Stephanie Paauwe, Volunteers of America, spaauwe@voamass.org or 617-522-8086.

Veterans! Have You Entered The Star Spangled Salute Contest Yet?

Calling All Veterans! Enter 'The Star Spanged Salute' Today For Your Chance To Win!

VMI’s Star Spangled Salute
The 2nd Annual Operation Independence Star Spangled Salute Veteran Contest has now been launched by VMI (Vantage Mobility International) alongside Toyota Motor Sales USA. Enter for your chance to win a brand new 2015 Toyota Sienna with a VMI Access 360 in-floor ramp conversion system.

Eligibility
Only U.S. disabled veterans are eligible to win the free mobility van. If you are a disabled veteran or would like to enter the contest on a veteran’s behalf, simply fill out the form. Only one-entry per household.

Contest Details

  • Registrar to win a 2015 Toyota VMI Wheelchair Van
  • Entries must be submitted by 11/09/14
  • Winner announced Veterans Day, 11/11/14

Important Dates

  • 04/02/2014 – VMI will begin accepting The Star Spangled Salute entries
  • 11/09/2014 – The Star Spangled Salute Entries End
  • 11/11/2014 – VMI will draw and announce The Star Spangled Salute on Veterans Day
  • 12/31/2014 – The Star Spangled Salute Winner MUST claim prize before December 31, 2014


Terms and Conditions:

The 2014 Operation Independence Star Spangled Salute campaign is valid from April 2, 2014 to November 9, 2014 for all Disabled U.S. Veterans.

Winner will be randomly drawn and announced on November 11, 2014 and must show proof of military service. Winner will receive any 2015 Toyota Sienna with the VMI Northstar Conversion; no exceptions will be made.

No purchase necessary. Valid in the United States only. Limit one entry per household. Entries may be made at www.vans4vets.com or by calling 800-488-6148.

If the winner already purchased their Toyota VMI Northstar conversion between April 2, 2014 and November 10, 2014 – they can elect to be reimbursed for their out of pocket cost of the wheelchair accessible Toyota VMI Northstar minivan by December 31, 2014. Reimbursement will be coordinated between VMI and the winner directly if the vehicle was purchased prior to the winner being announced.

Campaign is not valid on any added accessories. Winner is responsible for the payment of applicable taxes and registration fees. Prize must be claimed by December 31, 2014 and is non-transferable. No exceptions will be made.

Veterans! You Still Have Time To Enter The Star Spangled Salute Contest

VMI’s Star Spangled Salute
The 2nd Annual Operation Independence Star Spangled Salute Veteran Contest has now been launched by VMI (Vantage Mobility International) alongside Toyota Motor Sales USA. Enter for your chance to win a brand new 2015 Toyota Sienna with a VMI Access 360 in-floor ramp conversion system.

Eligibility
Only U.S. disabled veterans are eligible to win the free mobility van. If you are a disabled veteran or would like to enter the contest on a veteran’s behalf, simply fill out the form. Only one-entry per household.

Contest Details

  • Registrar to win a 2015 Toyota VMI Wheelchair Van
  • Entries must be submitted by 11/09/14
  • Winner announced Veterans Day, 11/11/14

Important Dates

  • 04/02/2014 – VMI will begin accepting The Star Spangled Salute entries
  • 11/09/2014 – The Star Spangled Salute Entries End
  • 11/11/2014 – VMI will draw and announce The Star Spangled Salute on Veterans Day
  • 12/31/2014 – The Star Spangled Salute Winner MUST claim prize before December 31, 2014


Terms and Conditions:
The 2014 Operation Independence Star Spangled Salute campaign is valid from April 2, 2014 to November 9, 2014 for all Disabled U.S. Veterans.

Winner will be randomly drawn and announced on November 11, 2014 and must show proof of military service. Winner will receive any 2015 Toyota Sienna with the VMI Northstar Conversion; no exceptions will be made.

No purchase necessary. Valid in the United States only. Limit one entry per household. Entries may be made at www.vans4vets.com or by calling 800-488-6148.

If the winner already purchased their Toyota VMI Northstar conversion between April 2, 2014 and November 10, 2014 – they can elect to be reimbursed for their out of pocket cost of the wheelchair accessible Toyota VMI Northstar minivan by December 31, 2014. Reimbursement will be coordinated between VMI and the winner directly if the vehicle was purchased prior to the winner being announced.

Campaign is not valid on any added accessories. Winner is responsible for the payment of applicable taxes and registration fees. Prize must be claimed by December 31, 2014 and is non-transferable. No exceptions will be made.

Q&A’s About the 100% Disabled Veteran’s Homestead Exemption

If you qualify as a 100% Disabled Veteran, you will be interested in the answers to the most commonly asked questions below.

  • What are the qualifications for this exemption?
    • You qualify for this 100% homestead exemption if you meet these requirements:
      • You own a home and occupy it as your residence homestead.
      • You are receiving 100% disability compensation from the US Department of Veterans Affairs for a service-connected disability.
      • You have a disability rating of 100% disabled or of individual unemployability.

      To get this exemption, you must fill out Form 11.13, checking the box for 100% Disabled Veterans Exemption, as well as all boxes that apply to you. You must attach documentation as well. You may attach a copy of your award letter, a “VA tax letter,” or another document from the United States Department of Veterans Affairs showing 100% disability compensation due to a service-connected disability and a rating of 100% disability or of individual unemployability. The documents you attach must be current documents.

  • How much of my home’s value will it exempt?

    • If you qualify, your home will be totally exempt from property taxes in all jurisdictions, regardless of the home’s value. If you co-own the home with someone other than your spouse, your share of the home’s value will be exempted.
  • I already have a homestead exemption. Do I need to apply for the 100% Disabled Veteran Homestead Exemption?
    • Yes. This exemption is not given automatically.
  • I just qualified for the disabled veteran’s exemption. Why do I need to send you my documentation for this exemption?
    • Qualifications for the 100% Disabled Veteran Homestead Exemption differ from those for the prior disabled veteran’s exemption. In particular, you must show that you actually receive 100% disability compensation for a service-connected disability, and have a rating of 100% disability or individual unemployability.
  • When is the new homestead exemption effective?
    • If you apply and qualify for the current tax year as well as the prior tax year, you will be granted the 100% Disabled Veteran Homestead Exemption for both years. Effective January 1, 2012, you may receive this exemption for the applicable portion of the year immediately upon qualification. (This applies to 2012 forward; not to prior years).
  • I bought my home after January 1, 2011. Will I get the new exemption for part of 2011?
    • No. The exemption will take effect for the 2012 year if you didn’t own your home on January 1, 2011.
  • My disability rating is actually 50%, but because I am over 65, I receive the maximum disability exemption. Do I qualify for the new homestead exemption?
    • No. You must be 100% disabled or have a rating of individual unemployability to qualify for the 100% Disabled Veteran Homestead Exemption. You must also be receiving 100% disability compensation from the VA. If the VA reduces or changes either of these ratings, it is your responsibility to notify the appraisal district in writing.
  • If something happens to me, will the new homestead exemption pass to my spouse or children?
    • Your surviving spouse, married to you and living at the same residence, may qualify to continue this exemption.
  • I owe delinquent taxes on my home for years before 2011. Will the new exemption affect those?
    • No. The exemption will apply for 2011 forward. It does not affect prior years.
  • I am in a hospital or nursing home. Can I still get the new exemption?
    • Yes, as long as you intend to return to the home when you are able.
  • My spouse and I own our home together. How is this homestead exemption calculated?
    • If the home is community property, it is calculated as if you owned 100% of the home. If the home is not community property, the exemption is prorated in proportion to the value of your interest.
  • I have a mortgage on the home. Can I still get the new homestead exemption?
    • Yes.
  • I don’t currently have a homestead exemption. Do I need to apply for the regular homestead exemption in addition to this one?
    • You should also apply for the regular homestead exemption. This will ensure that you receive the maximum benefits of the regular exemption should your qualification for the new exemption change.
  • I have recently turned 65. Should I apply for the over-65 homestead exemption in addition to the new exemption?
    • Yes, for the same reasons given above.
  • Q. How much of my home’s value will the new exemption exempt?
    • Your home will be totally exempt from property taxes.
  • I meet all of the qualifications for this exemption. I currently apply the $12,000 regular disabled veteran’s exemption to my home. When I get the 100% Disabled Veteran Homestead Exemption, what happens to the other exemption?
    • This exemption will exempt all of the value of your home. Consequently, the $12,000 disabled veteran’s exemption will have no effect. If you own other taxable property (such as a vacation home or business), you should file a new application with the appraisal district and designate the $12,000 exemption as applying to the other property.
  • Will I have to reapply every year for the 100% Disabled Veteran Homestead Exemption?
    • No. Once your exemption is granted, you will not have to reapply unless the chief appraiser requires you to do so in writing.
  • I already have a disability homestead exemption on my home. What is the difference between that one and this one?
    • The existing disability homestead exemption has different requirements and benefits. For that exemption, you must meet the Social Security Administration’s definition of disabled, which is not necessarily the same as that used by the VA or your branch of the military. The benefits are also different. Only school districts are required to provide a disability homestead exemption, though many other taxing entities do. The 100% Disabled Veteran Homestead Exemption will apply to all taxing units and will exempt the total value of your home.
  • Can I apply this exemption to my main home and get the general homestead exemption on my vacation home?
    • No. Both exemptions apply only to the home that is your principal residence. You can, however, apply the prior disabled veteran’s exemption to your vacation home.
  • How do I get documentation of my status from the VA?
    • You can contact the VA at 1-800-827-1000. Their website is at www.va.gov.

They Fought, We Rode: Wounded Vet Run

They Fought We Rode Wounded Vet Run

Yesterday, Sunday April 27th 2014, was the Boston Wounded Vet Run. Thousands of riders hit the open road Sunday afternoon for the 4th annual Boston Wounded Vet Motorcycle Run, to honor fallen Veterans including

  • Spc. Andy Kingsley from Athol, MA
  • Master Sgt. Joseph Deslauriers from Bellingham MA
  • Cpl. Kevin Dubois from Rhode Island
  • and firefighter Michael Kennedy

The 40-mile ride through North Shore towns raises money for wounded veterans. It takes about an hour and a half to complete and goes through Everett, Medford, Stoneham, Wakefield, Saugus, Lunn, Revere and East Boston.

The motorcade included about 4,000 members and was led by three convertibles carrying wounded service members.

Honor & Remember Wounded Vet Run

Honoring Vets Wounded Vet Run

Wounded Vet Run Boston Strong

Our Fallen - Afghan-Iraq - Never Forgotten

Wounded Vet run Apr14

Wounded Vet Run

Wounded Vet Run

VMi New England at the Woundeed Vet Run VMi New England at The 2014 4th Annual Boston Wounded Vet Run

VMi New England at The 2014 4th Annual Boston Wounded Vet Run

Understanding Your Employment Rights Under the Americans with Disabilities Act: A Guide for Veterans

In recent years, the percentage of veterans who report having service-connected disabilities (i.e., disabilities that were incurred in, or aggravated during, military service) has risen. About twenty-five percent of recent veterans report having a service-connected disability, as compared to about thirteen percent of all veterans. Common injuries experienced by veterans include missing limbs, spinal cord injuries, burns, post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), hearing loss, traumatic brain injuries, and other impairments.

This guide is intended to answer questions you may have about your rights as an injured veteran, now that you have left the service and are returning to a civilian job or seeking a new job. It also explains the kinds of adjustments (called reasonable accommodations) that may help you be successful in the workplace.

1. Are there any laws that protect veterans with disabilities in employment?
Yes. There are several federal laws that provide important protections for veterans with disabilities who are looking for jobs or are already in the workplace. Two of those laws –the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) and Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) – protect veterans from employment discrimination.

USERRA has requirements for reemploying veterans with and without service-connected disabilities and is enforced by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) and the Department of Justice (DOJ). Title I of the ADA, which is enforced by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), prohibits private and state and local government employers with 15 or more employees from discriminating against individuals on the basis of disability.

2. What does USERRA do?
USERRA prohibits employers from discriminating against employees or applicants for employment on the basis of their military status or military obligations. It also protects the reemployment rights of individuals who leave their civilian jobs (whether voluntarily or involuntarily) to serve in the uniformed services, including the U.S. Reserve forces and state, District of Columbia, and territory (e.g., Guam) National Guards.

Under USERRA, employers must make “reasonable efforts” to help a veteran who is returning to employment to become qualified to perform the duties of the position he or she would have held but for military service whether or not the veteran has a service-connected disability. If the veteran has a disability incurred in, or aggravated during, his or her service, the employer must make reasonable efforts to accommodate the disability and return the veteran to the position in which he or she would have been employed if the veteran had not performed military service. If the veteran is not qualified for that position due to the disability, USERRA requires the employer to make reasonable efforts to help qualify the veteran for a job of equivalent seniority, status, and pay, the duties of which the person is qualified to perform or could become qualified to perform. This could include providing training or retraining for the position at no cost to the veteran. See Title 38, United States Code, Chapter 43 – Employment and Reemployment Rights of Members of the Uniformed Services, 38 U.S.C. § 4313; 20 C.F.R. §§ 1002.198, 1002.225 -.226. USERRA applies to all veterans, not just those with service-connected disabilities, and to all employers regardless of size. For more information on the reemployment rights of uniformed service personnel, see DOL’s website at www.dol.gov/vets.

3. What protections does the ADA provide?
Title I of the ADA prohibits an employer from treating an applicant or employee unfavorably in all aspects of employment — including hiring, promotions, job assignments, training, termination, and any other terms, conditions, and privileges of employment — because he has a disability, a history of having a disability, or because the employer regards him as having a disability. That means, for example, that it is illegal for an employer to refuse to hire a veteran because he has PTSD, because he was previously diagnosed with PTSD, or because the employer assumes he has PTSD. The ADA also limits the medical information employers may obtain and prohibits disability-based harass­ment and retaliation.

Finally, the ADA provides that, absent undue hardship (significant difficulty or expense to the employer), applicants and employees with disabilities are entitled to reasonable accommodation to apply for jobs, to perform their jobs, and to enjoy equal benefits and privileges of employment (e.g., access to the parts of an employer’s facility available to all employees and access to employer-sponsored training and social events).

Section 501 of the Rehabilitation Act applies the same standards of non-discrimination and reasonable accommodation as the ADA to Federal Executive Branch agencies and the United States Postal Service. Documents explaining Title I of the ADA and the Rehabilitation Act can be found on EEOC’s website at www.eeoc.gov.

4. I was injured during active duty but don’t think of myself as “disabled.” How do I know if I am protected by the ADA?
You are protected if you meet the ADA’s definition of disability and are qualified for the job you want or hold. The ADA defines an “individual with a disability” as a person who (1) has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities; (2) has a record of such an impairment (i.e. was substantially limited in the past, such as prior to undergoing rehabilitation); or (3) is regarded, or treated by an employer, as having such an impairment, even if no substantial limitation exists. You are considered qualified if you are able to meet an employer’s requirements for the job, such as education, training, employment experience, skills, or licenses, and are able to perform the job’s essential or fundamental duties with or without reasonable accommodation.

As a result of changes to the ADA made by the ADA Amendments Act of 2008, it is now much easier for individuals with a wide range of impairments to establish that they are individuals with disabilities and entitled to the ADA’s protections. For example, the term “major life activities” includes not only activities such as walking, seeing, hearing, and concentrating, but also the operation of major bodily functions, such as functions of the brain and the neurological system.

Additionally, an impairment need not prevent or severely or significantly restrict your performance of a major life activity to be considered substantially limiting; the determination of whether an impairment substantially limits a major life activity must be made without regard to any mitigating measures (e.g., medications or assistive devices, such as prosthetic limbs) that you may use to lessen your impairment’s effects; and impairments that are episodic or in remission (e.g., epilepsy or PTSD) are considered disabilities if they would be substantially limiting when active. Some service-connected disabilities, such as deafness, blindness, partially or completely missing limbs, mobility impairments requiring the use of a wheelchair, major depressive disorder, and PTSD, will easily be concluded to be disabilities under the ADA.

5. If I have a military disability rating or a disability rating from the VA, does that mean I am also covered by the ADA?
Yes, you are probably covered. Although the ADA uses different standards than the U.S. Department of Defense and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) in determining disability, many more service-connected disabilities will also be considered disabilities under the ADA than prior to the ADA Amendments Act.

6. Under the ADA, is a private employer required to hire me over other applicants because I have a disability?
Though it is not required to do so, a private employer may decide to give a veteran with a disability a preference in hiring. The ADA prohibits discrimination “on the basis of disability.” This means that if you are qualified for a job, an employer cannot refuse to hire you because you have a disability or because you may need a reasonable accommodation to perform the job. Even if you are qualified for a job, an employer may choose another applicant without a disability because that individual is better qualified.

Some laws, however, require private employers to give a preference to veterans with disabilities. For example, the Vietnam Era Veteran’s Readjustment Assistance Act (VEVRAA) requires that businesses with a federal contract or subcontract in the amount of $100,000 or more, entered into on or after December 1, 2003, take affirmative action to employ and advance qualified disabled veterans. VEVRAA also requires these businesses to list their employment openings with the appropriate employment service and to give covered veterans priority in referral to such openings.

7. Are there any laws that will give me special consideration if I am looking for a job with the federal government?
Yes. Under the Veterans Preference Act, veterans with and without disabilities are entitled to preference over others in hiring from competitive lists of eligible applicants and may be considered for special noncompetitive appointments for which they are eligible.

Federal agencies also may use specific rules and regulations, called “special hiring authorities,” to hire individuals with disabilities outside the normal competitive hiring process, and sometimes may even be required to give preferential treatment to veterans, including disabled veterans, in making hiring decisions.

Here are some of the special hiring authorities that may apply to you if you are looking for a job with the federal government:

  • The Veterans’ Recruitment Appointment (VRA) program allows agencies to appoint eligible veterans without competition.
  • The Veterans Employment Opportunity Act (VEOA) can be used when filling permanent, competitive service positions. It allows veterans to apply for jobs that are only open to “status” candidates, which means “current competitive service employees.”
  • The Schedule A Appointing Authority, though not specifically for veterans, allows agencies to appoint eligible applicants who have a severe physical, psychological, or intellectual disability.

8. During a job interview, may an employer ask about my amputation, why I am in a wheelchair, or how I sustained any other injury I may have?
No. Even if your disability is obvious, an employer cannot ask questions about when, where, or how you were injured. However, where it seems likely that you will need a reasonable accommodation to do the job, an employer may ask you if an accommodation is needed and, if so, what type. In addition, an employer may ask you to describe or demonstrate how you would perform the job with or without an accommodation. For example, if the job requires that you lift objects weighing up to 50 pounds, the employer can ask whether you will need assistance or ask you to demonstrate how you will perform this task. Similarly, if you voluntarily reveal that you have an injury or illness and an employer reasonably believes that you will need an accommodation, it may ask what accommodation you need to do the job.

9. Do I have to disclose an injury or illness that is not obvious during an interview or indicate on a job application that I have a disability?
No. The ADA does not require you to disclose that you have any medical condition on a job application or during an interview. However, if you will need a reasonable accommodation to participate in the application process, such as more time to take a test or permis­sion to provide oral instead of written responses, you must request it. Additionally, some veterans with service-connected disabilities may choose to disclose that they have medical conditions, such as PTSD or a traumatic brain injury, because of symptoms they experience or because they will need a reasonable accommodation at work. Once an employer makes a job offer, it may ask you questions about your medical conditions, and perhaps even require you to take a medical examination, as long as it requires everyone else in the same job to answer the same questions and/or take the same medical examination before starting work.

10. Some applications ask me to indicate whether I am a “disabled veteran.” Is this legal?
Yes, if the information is being requested for affirmative action purposes. See EEOC Enforcement Guidance: Preemployment Disability-Related Questions and Medical Examinations Under the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (1995) at www.eeoc.gov/policy/docs/preemp.html. An employer may ask applicants to voluntarily self-identify as individuals with disabilities or “disabled veterans” when the employer is: (1) undertaking affirmative action because of a federal, state, or local law (including a veterans’ preference law) that requires affirmative action for individuals with disabilities; or (2) voluntarily using the information to benefit individuals with disabilities, including veterans with service-connected disabilities.

If an employer invites you to voluntarily self-identify as a disabled veteran, it must clearly inform you in writing (or orally, if no written questionnaire is used) that: (1) the information is being requested as part of the employer’s affirmative action program; (2) providing the information is voluntary; (3) failure to provide it will not subject you to any adverse treatment; and (4) the information will be kept confidential and only used in a way that complies with the ADA.

11. What types of reasonable accommodations may I want to request for the application process or on the job?
The following are examples of types of accommodations that you may need for the application process or while on the job:

  • written materials in accessible formats, such as large print, Braille, or on computer disk
  • extra time to complete a test if you have difficulty concentrating or have a learning disability or traumatic brain injury (TBI)
  • interviews, tests, and training held in accessible locations
  • modified equipment or devices (e.g., assistive technology that would allow you to use a computer if you are blind or to use a telephone if you are deaf or hard of hearing; a glare guard for a computer monitor if you have a TBI; a one-handed keyboard if you are missing an arm or hand)
  • physical modifications to the workplace (e.g., reconfiguring a workspace, including adjusting the height of a desk or shelves if you use a wheelchair)
  • permission to work from home
  • leave for treatment, recuperation, or training related to your disability
  • a modified or part-time work schedule
  • a job coach who could assist you if you initially have some difficulty learning or remembering job tasks
  • modification of supervisory methods, such as having a supervisor break complex assignments into smaller, separate tasks, provide some additional feedback or guidance on a task, or adjust methods of communication (e.g., give written rather than oral instructions for completing certain tasks)
  • reassignment to a vacant position if your disability prevents you from performing the duties of your current position or where any reasonable accommodation in your current position would result in undue hardship (i.e., significant difficulty or expense)

12. How do I ask for a reasonable accommodation?
You simply have to indicate — orally or in writing — that you need an adjustment or change in the application process or at work for a reason related to a medical condition. For example, if you have a vision loss and cannot read standard print, you would need to inform the employer that you need the application materials in some other format (e.g., large print or on computer disk) or read to you. You do not have to mention the ADA or use the term “reasonable accommodation.” Someone acting on your behalf, such as a family member, rehabilitation counselor, health professional, or other representative, also can make the request.

13. What happens after I request a reasonable accommodation?
A request for reasonable accommodation is the first step in an informal interactive process between you and the employer.

The process will involve determining whether you have a disability as defined by the ADA (where this is not obvious or already known) and identifying accommodation solutions. An employer also may ask if you know what accommodation you need that will help you apply for or do the job. There are extensive public and private resources to help identify reasonable accommodations for applicants and employees with particular disabilities. For example, the website for the Job Accommodation Network (JAN) provides a practical guide for individuals with disabilities on requesting and discussing reasonable accommodations and on finding the right job. See JAN’s website at www.askjan.org.

14. I am not sure whether I will need a reasonable accommodation. If I don’t ask for one before I start working, can I still ask for one later?
Yes. You can request an accommodation at any time during the application process or when you start working even if you did not ask for one when applying for a job or after receiving a job offer. If you are already receiving a reasonable accommodation, you may also request a different or additional accommodation later if your disability and/or the job changes, or if another accommodation becomes available that will help you.

Generally, you should request an accommodation when you know that there is a workplace barrier that is preventing you from competing for or performing a job or having equal access to the benefits of employment. As a practical matter, it is better to request a reasonable accommodation before your job performance suffers.

15. What can I do if I feel that an employer has violated the ADA by not hiring me or providing a reasonable accommodation?
If you believe that your employment rights have been violated on the basis of disability (or for some other discriminatory reason), there are actions you can take:

  • Claims against a private or a state or local government employer:To take formal action, you must file a charge of discrimination with the EEOC. The charge must be filed by mail or in person with the local EEOC office within 180 days from the date of the alleged violation. The 180-day filing deadline is extended to 300 days if a state or local anti-discrimination law also covers the charge.The EEOC will send you and the employer a copy of the charge and may ask for responses and supporting information. Before a formal investigation, the EEOC may select the charge for EEOC’s mediation program. Mediation is free, confidential, and voluntary for both parties. A charge will only be mediated if both parties agree to participate in the process. Mediation may prevent a time-consuming investigation of the charge.If a charge goes to mediation but is unsuccessful or is not selected for mediation, the EEOC investigates the charge to determine if there is “reasonable cause” to believe discrimination has occurred. If reasonable cause is found, the EEOC will then try to resolve the charge with the employer. In some cases, where the charge cannot be resolved, the EEOC will file a court action. If the EEOC finds no discrimination, or if an attempt to resolve the charge fails and the EEOC decides not to file suit, it will issue you a notice of a “right to sue,” which will give you 90 days to file a court action. You also can request a notice of a “right to sue” from the EEOC 180 days after the charge first was filed with the EEOC and may then bring suit within 90 days after receiving the notice.

For a detailed description of the process, visit our website at www.eeoc.gov/charge/overview_charge_filing.html.

  • Claims against a federal government agency: If you are a federal employee or applicant and you believe that a federal agency has discriminated against you, you have a right to file a complaint. Each agency is required to post information about how to contact the agency’s EEO Office. You can contact an EEO Counselor by calling the office responsible for the agency’s EEO complaints program.The first step is to contact an EEO Counselor at the agency where you work or where you applied for a job. Generally, you must contact the EEO Counselor within 45 days from the day the discrimination occurred. In most cases the EEO Counselor will give you the choice of participating either in EEO counseling or in an alternative dispute resolution (ADR) program, such as a mediation program.If you do not settle the dispute during counseling or through ADR, you can file a formal discrimination complaint against the agency with the agency’s EEO Office. You must file within 15 days from the day you receive notice from your EEO Counselor about how to file. Once you have filed a formal complaint, the agency will review the complaint and, if the complaint is not dismissed for procedural reasons (e.g., because it was filed too late), the agency will conduct an investigation. The agency has 180 days from the day you filed your complaint to finish the investigation. When the investigation is finished, the agency will issue a notice giving you two choices: either request a hearing before an EEOC Administrative Judge or ask the agency to issue a decision as to whether the discrimination occurred.

Calling All Veterans! Don’t Forget To Enter The Star Spanged Salute Today For Your Chance To Win!

Calling All Veterans! Enter 'The Star Spanged Salute' Today For Your Chance To Win!
VMI’s Star Spangled Salute
The 2nd Annual Operation Independence Star Spangled Salute Veteran Contest has now been launched by VMI (Vantage Mobility International) alongside Toyota Motor Sales USA. Enter for your chance to win a brand new 2015 Toyota Sienna with a VMI Access 360 in-floor ramp conversion system.

Eligibility
Only U.S. disabled veterans are eligible to win the free mobility van. If you are a disabled veteran or would like to enter the contest on a veteran’s behalf, simply fill out the form. Only one-entry per household.

Contest Details

  • Registrar to win a 2015 Toyota VMI Wheelchair Van
  • Entries must be submitted by 11/09/14
  • Winner announced Veterans Day, 11/11/14

Important Dates

  • 04/02/2014 – VMI will begin accepting The Star Spangled Salute entries
  • 11/09/2014 – The Star Spangled Salute Entries End
  • 11/11/2014 – VMI will draw and announce The Star Spangled Salute on Veterans Day
  • 12/31/2014 – The Star Spangled Salute Winner MUST claim prize before December 31, 2014


Terms and Conditions:

The 2014 Operation Independence Star Spangled Salute campaign is valid from April 2, 2014 to November 9, 2014 for all Disabled U.S. Veterans.

Winner will be randomly drawn and announced on November 11, 2014 and must show proof of military service. Winner will receive any 2015 Toyota Sienna with the VMI Northstar Conversion; no exceptions will be made.

No purchase necessary. Valid in the United States only. Limit one entry per household. Entries may be made at www.vans4vets.com or by calling 800-488-6148.

If the winner already purchased their Toyota VMI Northstar conversion between April 2, 2014 and November 10, 2014 – they can elect to be reimbursed for their out of pocket cost of the wheelchair accessible Toyota VMI Northstar minivan by December 31, 2014. Reimbursement will be coordinated between VMI and the winner directly if the vehicle was purchased prior to the winner being announced.

Campaign is not valid on any added accessories. Winner is responsible for the payment of applicable taxes and registration fees. Prize must be claimed by December 31, 2014 and is non-transferable. No exceptions will be made.

Don’t Forget To Mark Your Calenders The Wounded Vet Run Is Just One Week Away!!

Wounded-Warriors
Wounded Veteran Run

Sunday, April 27, 2014 [Rain Date: Sunday, May 4]

Advanced ticket purchase and info at: www.TheyFoughtWeRide.com

Motorcycle Ride and Concert
$20 a rider, $10 per passenger, $20 Walk-Ins
Registration starts 10am – Kickstands up 1:30pm
Purpose: To support three of New England’s most severely wounded Veterans:

Honoring:

  • Spc. Andy Kingsley from Athol, MA
  • Master Sgt. Joseph Deslauriers from Bellingham, MA
  • Cpl. Kevin Dubois from Rhode Island

START: Boston Harley Davidson, 1760 Revere Beach Pkway, Everett MA
END: Suffolk Downs, 525 McClellan Hwy, E. Boston, MA

Ceremony – Food – Music by Tigerlily – Beer Tent – Vendors – Raffle Items – Stunt Shows

Call Andrew for questions: 903-340-9402
Vendors call: 617-416-0782

Bike not required to participate, EVERYONE WELCOME!

VMI Announces Partnership With AMVETS

VMI Announces Partnership With AMVETS
Vantage Mobility International (VMI) announced their new partnership with AMVETS to increase support for U.S. active military, veterans and their families. The partnership, which recognizes VMI as an Official Vehicle Mobility Partner, was established as part of VMI’s ongoing effort to bolster its Operation Independence program.

“Our partnership will enable our organizations to reach more and do more for the courageous men and women who serve our country,” said Jeff Weston, vice president of sales and business development at VMI.

AMVETS, which is the first World War II organization to be chartered by Congress, is now represented in virtually every state by national services officers (NSOs). These NSOs provide sound advice and prompt action on compensation claims at no charge to the veteran. As a leader in preserving the freedoms secured by America’s armed forces, AMVETS provides support for community service and legislative reform that enhances the quality of life for both citizens and veterans.

“Vantage Mobility has played an important role in supporting our disabled veterans through their Operation Independence program,” said J. Michael Fisher, development director at AMVETS. “The VMI team shares our belief that military men and women deserve the absolute best in care, support and resources in return for their honorable service. We look forward to working VMI to help disabled American veterans find access to quality mobility transportation.”

VMI and AMVETS finalized their partnership in February.

About AMVETS
A leader since 1944 in pre­serv­ing the free­doms secured by America’s armed forces, AMVETS pro­vides sup­port for vet­er­ans and the active mil­i­tary in procur­ing their earned enti­tle­ments, as well as com­mu­nity ser­vice and leg­isla­tive reform that enhances the qual­ity of life for this nation’s cit­i­zens and vet­er­ans alike. AMVETS is one of the largest congressionally-chartered vet­er­ans’ ser­vice orga­ni­za­tions in the United States, and includes mem­bers from each branch of the mil­i­tary, includ­ing the National Guard and Reserves. To learn more visit www.amvets.org.

About Van­tage Mobil­ity Inter­na­tional
Van­tage Mobil­ity Inter­na­tional is a man­u­fac­turer and dis­trib­u­tor of the most inno­v­a­tive, reli­able, high­est qual­ity and eas­ily acces­si­ble trans­porta­tion in the world. Their full line of prod­ucts include domes­tic and import mini­van con­ver­sions, full-size van con­ver­sions, plat­form lifts, scooter and wheel­chair lifts and trans­fer seats. For more infor­ma­tion, call Aaron Cook at (214) 520‑3430 Ext. 306 or visit http://www.VantageMobility.com.

WIN a Brand New 2015 Toyota Sienna VMI Northstar Access 360 Wheelchair Van!

WIN a Brand New 2015 Toyota Sienna VMI Northstar Access 360 Wheelchair Van!
VMI’s Star Spangled Salute
The 2nd Annual Operation Independence Star Spangled Salute Veteran Contest has now been launched by VMI (Vantage Mobility International) alongside Toyota Motor Sales USA. Enter for your chance to win a brand new 2015 Toyota Sienna with a VMI Access 360 in-floor ramp conversion system.

Eligibility
Only U.S. disabled veterans are eligible to win the free mobility van. If you are a disabled veteran or would like to enter the contest on a veteran’s behalf, simply fill out the form. Only one-entry per household.

Contest Details

  • Registrar to win a 2015 Toyota VMI Wheelchair Van
  • Entries must be submitted by 11/09/14
  • Winner announced Veterans Day, 11/11/14

Important Dates

  • 04/02/2014 – VMI will begin accepting The Star Spangled Salute entries
  • 11/09/2014 – The Star Spangled Salute Entries End
  • 11/11/2014 – VMI will draw and announce The Star Spangled Salute on Veterans Day
  • 12/31/2014 – The Star Spangled Salute Winner MUST claim prize before December 31, 2014


Terms and Conditions:

The 2014 Operation Independence Star Spangled Salute campaign is valid from April 2, 2014 to November 9, 2014 for all Disabled U.S. Veterans.

Winner will be randomly drawn and announced on November 11, 2014 and must show proof of military service. Winner will receive any 2015 Toyota Sienna with the VMI Northstar Conversion; no exceptions will be made.

No purchase necessary. Valid in the United States only. Limit one entry per household. Entries may be made at www.vans4vets.com or by calling 800-488-6148.

If the winner already purchased their Toyota VMI Northstar conversion between April 2, 2014 and November 10, 2014 – they can elect to be reimbursed for their out of pocket cost of the wheelchair accessible Toyota VMI Northstar minivan by December 31, 2014. Reimbursement will be coordinated between VMI and the winner directly if the vehicle was purchased prior to the winner being announced.

Campaign is not valid on any added accessories. Winner is responsible for the payment of applicable taxes and registration fees. Prize must be claimed by December 31, 2014 and is non-transferable. No exceptions will be made.

Join the VMi New England Team at the Wounded Veteran Run

Wounded-Warriors
Wounded Veteran Run
Sunday, April 27, 2014 [Rain Date: Sunday, May 4]

Advanced ticket purchase and info at: www.TheyFoughtWeRide.com

Motorcycle Ride and Concert
$20 a rider, $10 per passenger, $20 Walk-Ins
Registration starts 10am – Kickstands up 1:30pm
Purpose: To support three of New England’s most severely wounded Veterans:

Honoring:

  • Spc. Andy Kingsley from Athol, MA
  • Master Sgt. Joseph Deslauriers from Bellingham, MA
  • Cpl. Kevin Dubois from Rhode Island

START: Boston Harley Davidson, 1760 Revere Beach Pkway, Everett MA
END: Suffolk Downs, 525 McClellan Hwy, E. Boston, MA

Ceremony – Food – Music by Tigerlily – Beer Tent – Vendors – Raffle Items – Stunt Shows

Call Andrew for questions: 903-340-9402
Vendors call: 617-416-0782

Bike not required to participate, EVERYONE WELCOME!

Veterans Resources

Grants through the Veterans Association for Disabled Veterans
Get help with a disabled veterans grant toward the sale price or conversion of a handicap accessible minivan. This grant is available for disabled veterans with service-related disabilities including:

  • Loss, or permanent loss of use, of one or both feet
  • Loss, or permanent loss of use, of one or both hands
  • Permanent loss or impairment of vision in both eyes
  • Ankylosis (immobility) of one or both knees, or one or both hips

There is a one-time Disabled Veterans Grant payment by the Veterans Association, toward the purchase of a vehicle chassis and/or adaptive equipment. The Veterans Association will pay for adaptive equipment, for repair, replacement, or reinstallation required because of disability, and for the safe operation of a vehicle purchased with the Veterans Association assistance.

Effective October 1, 2011, the amount of money granted to service connected veterans under the one-time VA Auto Grant Program increased from $11,000 to $18,900. The amount that the Veteran receives will depend on the date that the sale was executed and submitted for reimbursement. Not when the 4502 Application was approved.

This means that if a Veteran was approved for the Auto Grant Program Prior to October 1, 2011, but the sale/purchase of the vehicle is executed (date of sale) after October 1, the Veteran is eligible for the $18,900. If the sale was executed prior to October 1, 2011 the Veteran will only receive $11,000 regardless of when the paperwork is submitted. This means that a sale executed in September, and not submitted for reimbursement until after October 1, would only get the $11,000 grant.

To clarify this another way, if the Veteran was approved for an Auto Grant prior to October 1, 2011 and enters into negotiation with a mobility dealer, orders a vehicle, and/or places a deposit on a vehicle, the Veteran would be eligible for the $18,900 as long as the date of sale and submission to the VA for reimbursement is after October 1, 2011.

Disabled Veterans who wish to convert an existing vehicle may also qualify for an Adaptive Equipment Grant. Adaptive equipment includes, but is not limited to, power steering, power brakes, power windows, power seats, and special equipment necessary to assist the eligible person into and out of the vehicle. Contact should be made with your local VA medical center’s Prosthetic Department prior to purchasing any equipment.

The adaptive equipment grant may be paid more than once, and it may be paid to either the seller or the veteran.

Disabled Veterans Loan Program
Loans for disabled veterans are available by seeking funds through other outlets. It is advised that you search for veterans loan programs by seeking out loans available for your specific disability.

You can also find loans to help pay for adapted vehicles by searching for money based on your disability instead of purely focusing on veterans benefits. Search through our Wheelchair Van Loans section to find other loans that apply to you.

We are always seeking to expand funding opportunities for the disabled to help pay for a handicap accessible minivan. If you know of other disability grant and loan programs for disabled veterans, please let us know.


Automobile Adaptive Equipment Program
The Automobile Adaptive Equipment (AAE) program permits physically challenged persons to enter, exit and/or operate a motor vehicle or other conveyance. The VA also provides necessary equipment such as platform wheelchair lifts, Under Vehicle Lifts (ULV), power door openers, lowered floors/raised roofs, raised doors, hand controls, left foot gas pedals, reduced effort and zero effort steering and braking, air conditioning and digital driving systems.

Eligibility

  • Veterans who are service connected for the loss, or loss of use of one or both feet or hands, or service connected ankylosis of one or both knees or hips.
  • Veterans who are service connected for permanent impairment of vision of both eyes that have a central acuity of 20/200.
  • NSC veterans are eligible for equipment/ modifications that will allow ingress and egress from a vehicle only.

Note: Eligible service connected veterans who are non-drivers are not eligible for reimbursement for operational equipment.

Required Documentation to VBA

  • The following must be submitted to the VBA:
  • Completed VAF 10-1394, “Application for Adaptive Equipment”
  • Copy of Valid Driver’s License
  • Bill of sale, Invoice, Lease Agreement or Registration Form
  • Window Sticker

If a window sticker is NOT Available you could:

  • Inspect and document the vehicle and items
  • Use a Comparable Vehicle Listing Guide
  • Get an invoice or bill of sale, it must substantiate the items of adaptive equipment
  • Have proof of ownership (Vehicle Title)
  • Have proof of release of disposal of a previously owned vehicle

If veteran paid sales tax, adjust 10-1394 to reimburse Repairs: Marked PAID and include the certification statement signed by vendor


Used Vehicles
Prorated by reducing the standard equipment reimbursable amount for like items by 10% per year. (This includes any add on adaptive equipment previously installed)

Maximum deduction of 90% of the new reimbursement rate will be allowed for vehicles 10 years or older (Vehicles will have a residual value of 10%)

Leased Vehicles
Same guidelines apply for leased vehicles just as if the veteran purchased a new or used vehicle.

Lease must be to the veteran and he/she be responsible for the repairs and maintenance of the vehicle, and not to any business.

Cost limitations will not exceed the allowable reimbursable amounts.

Conversions
Mini- Van

  • Reimbursement for mini-van conversions will be made in an amount equal to or less than the average cost of a conventional van modification, plus 25% (SC only).
  • VA will reimburse for the cost of transporting/delivery of the vehicle.

Full Size Van

  • This type of conversion is considered comfort, far exceeds the space required for transportation
  • The amount should not exceed conventional van conversion

Pick-up Trucks

  • The space modified about half that of a mini van
  • The dollar amount should not exceed mini van conversion

Motor Homes

  • All modifications must be pre-authorized.
  • Only VA approved add-on equipment may be authorized.
  • Maximum reimbursable amounts established for automobile adaptive equipment will not be exceeded for similar items authorized as adaptive equipment in a motor home.
  • Amount authorized and the purchase and installation of an approved lift in a motor home will not exceed the average amount authorized for purchase and installation of similar lifts installed in vans by the authorizing VA facility.
  • VA is not responsible for the removal, modification or reinstallation of any convenience items contained in the motor home, e.g., cabinets, stoves, showers, refrigerators, etc.

Repairs
Routine service to items is not considered a repair e.g., brake shoes, drums & pads or other adjustments (only the power booster). Power Steering and Automatic Transmission service or fluid refills are not authorized (only the transmission itself, or the power steering components).

Maximum reimbursement is for the total amount of the certified invoice.

Repairs, cost of parts and labor, is listed in thee current Mitchell Mechanical Parts and Labor Estimating Guide for Domestic Cars.

Towing is not normally an authorized repair.

Exceptions to the 2 vehicles in a 4-year period rule
Normally only allowance can be provided for 2 vehicles in a 4-year period.

Exceptions to this rule are:

  • Theft
  • Fire
  • Accident
  • Court of legal actions
  • Costly Repairs
  • Changes in the drivers medical requirements necessitating a different type of vehicle

Required documentation to remove a vehicle of record
Important Note: These vehicles may not be sold or given to family members or any other party residing in the same household of the veteran, or transferred to a business owned by the veteran.

  • Proof of trade-in
  • Proof of sale
  • Proof of other means of disposal, e.g., total loss by accident , act of God, fire, theft, etc.

How to Apply
Please contact your local PVA National Service Officer for assistance with the application.

Operation Independence

Operation Independence wheelchair accessible vehicles for veterans
Operation Independence is an awareness campaign to help Veterans understand and utilize their vehicle mobility benefits such as the auto allowance grant and the automobile adaptive equipment program. These benefits along with the assistance of a VMI Select Dealer can help a Veteran select and purchase a wheelchair accessible vehicle that best fits their needs.

VMI is the premier manufacturer of wheelchair accessible vans. VMI Dealers, such as VMi New England, are experts in mobility assessment and customization. Together we have combined our knowledge with the Paralyzed Veterans of America to increase awareness with disabled Veterans regarding VA vehicle benefits, and help them get the benefits they have earned while serving our country.

VMI and Select Dealer Networks, such as VMi New England, will help give Veterans a $1000 rebate towards a van that will be converted for wheelchair accessibility.

11 Facts About Veterans Day

11 Facts About Veterans Day Honoring Veterans at VMi New England

How much do you really know about this national holiday honoring those who have served our country?

Here are 11 Veterans Day facts in honor of the holiday celebrated in the United States on November 11th. Thank you to all those who have served!


When was Veterans Day first celebrated?
Originally called Armistice Day, Veterans Day was celebrated on Nov. 11, 1919, which was the first anniversary of the end of the fighting of World War I. The Allies and Germany agree to an armistice, or temporary cessation of hostilities,on the 11th hour on the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918. (Technically WWI did not officially end until the signing of the Treaty of Versailles on June 28, 1919.)

Why do we celebrate Veterans Day?
President Woodrow Wilson said of that first observance in 1919, “To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nations.” That purpose has not changed as today the purpose is still to honor those who have served our nation.

When did Veterans Day become a national holiday?
Although first observed in 1919, Congress did not make it official until 1938. IN 1954, the name changed to Veterans Day. In the 1970s the date moved around in November, causing confusion, and President Gerald Ford in 1975 signed a law placing the observance on Nov. 11 and there it has remained. For more details, please see the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs History of Veterans Day and the U.S. Army’s Center for Miliary History page on History of Veterans Day.

What is the difference between Memorial Day and Veterans Day?
These two holidays are frequently confused but they are not the same. Memorial Day, celebrated in May, honors those who lost their lives in service to our country, and Veterans Day, celebrated in November, honors all who have served and focusing on thanking living service members, past and present. For the official answer, the Office of of Public and Intergovernmental Affairs of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs explains, “Memorial Day is a day for remembering and honoring military personnel who died in the service of their country, particularly those who died in battle or as a result of wounds sustained in battle. While those who died are also remembered, Veterans Day is the day set aside to thank and honor ALL those who served honorably in the military – in wartime or peacetime. In fact, Veterans Day is largely intended to thank LIVING veterans for their service, to acknowledge that their contributions to our national security are appreciated, and to underscore the fact that all those who served – not only those who died – have sacrificed and done their duty.”

In what war did the largest number of Americans serve in the Armed Forces?
World War II saw more than 16 million Americans become service members, according to the 2009 Veterans Day Teacher Resource Guide. As of June 2013, CNN reported that 1.7 million WII vets were still alive.


Why do we spell it Veterans Day? Shouldn’t there be an apostrophe?
“Veterans Day does not include an apostrophe but does include an ‘s’ at the end of ‘veterans’ because it is not a day that ‘belongs’ to veterans, it is a day for honoring all veterans,” explains the Office of of Public and Intergovernmental Affairs of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

Is there a national ceremony?
In keeping with the honoring of the timing of the armistice ending the carnage of WWI, a Veterans Day National Ceremony is held each year on November 11th at Arlington National Cemetery. The VA website says that ceremony commences precisely at 11:00 a.m. with a wreath laying at the Tomb of the Unknowns and continues inside the Memorial Amphitheater with a parade of colors by veterans’ organizations and remarks from dignitaries intended to honor and thank all who served in the United States Armed Forces.


Which state is home to the largest number of veterans?
California has the most, with 2 million veterans calling the Golden State home. Texas and Florida are next, with 1.6 million vets in each state, reports the Census Bureau.

How many of U.S. vets are female?
There are 1.6 million female veterans, as of 2011, according to the Census Bureau.


How many veterans are there living in the United States?
The U.S. has 21.8 million veterans, according the the Census Bureau’s Snapshot of Our Nation’s Veterans.

Do veterans ever serve in more than one war?
Yes. More than 1.3 million of America’s living veterans have served in more than one conflict, and 54,000 have served in 3 wars – WWI, Korea and Vietnam – according to the Census Bureau’s Snapshot of Our Nation’s Veterans.

Honoring All Who Served

Veterans Day 2013  VMi New England Thanks and Honors All Who Served

Veterans Day
Many Americans mistakenly believe that Veterans Day is the day America sets aside to honor American military personnel who died in battle or as a result of wounds sustained from combat. That’s not quite true. Memorial Day is the day set aside to honor America’s war dead.

Veterans Day, on the other hand, honors ALL American veterans, both living and dead. In fact, Veterans Day is largely intended to thank LIVING veterans for dedicated and loyal service to their country. November 11 of each year is the day that we ensure veterans know that we deeply appreciate the sacrifices they have made in the lives to keep our country free.

Armistice Day
To commemorate the ending of the “Great War” (World War I), an “unknown soldier” was buried in highest place of honor in both England and France ( (in England, Westminster Abbey; in France, the Arc de Triomphe). These ceremonies took place on November 11th, celebrating the ending of World War I hostilities at 11 a.m., November 11, 1918 (the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month). This day became known internationally as “Armistice Day”.

In 1921, the United States of America followed France and England by laying to rest the remains of a World War I American soldier — his name “known but to God” — on a Virginia hillside overlooking the city of Washington DC and the Potomac River. This site became known as the “Tomb of the Unknown Soldier,” and today is called the “Tomb of the Unknowns.” Located in Arlington National Cemetery, the tomb symbolizes dignity and reverence for the American veteran.

In America, November 11th officially became known as Armistice Day through an act of Congress in 1926. It wasn’t until 12 years later, through a similar act that Armistice Day became a national holiday.

The entire World thought that World War I was the “War to end all wars.” Had this been true, the holiday might still be called Armistice Day today. That dream was shattered in 1939 when World War II broke out in Europe. More than 400,000 American service members died during that horrific war.

Veterans Day
In 1947, Raymond Weeks, of Birmingham Ala., organized a “Veterans Day” parade on November 11th to honor all of America’s veterans for their loyal and dedicated service. Shortly thereafter, Congressman Edward H. Rees (Kansas) introduced legislation to change the name of Armistice Day to Veterans Day in order to honor all veterans who have served the United States in all wars.

In 1954, President Eisenhower signed a bill proclaiming November 11 as Veterans Day, and called upon Americans everywhere to rededicate themselves to the cause of peace. He issued a Presidential Order directing the head of the Veterans Administration (now called the Department of Veterans Affairs), to form a Veterans Day National Committee to organize and oversee the national observance of Veterans Day.

Congress passed legislation in 1968 to move Veterans Day to the fourth Monday in October. However as it became apparent that November 11th was historically significant to many Americans, in 1978, Congress reversed itself and returned the holiday to its traditional date.

Veterans Day National Ceremony
At exactly 11 a.m., each November 11th, a color guard, made up of members from each of the military branches, renders honors to America’s war dead during a heart-moving ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknowns in Arlington National Cemetery.

The President or his representative places a wreath at the Tomb and a bugler sounds Taps. The balance of the ceremony, including a “Parade of Flags” by numerous veterans service organizations, takes place inside the Memorial Amphitheater, adjacent to the Tomb.

In addition to planning and coordinating the National Veterans Day Ceremony, the Veterans Day National Committee supports a number of Veterans Day Regional Sites. These sites conduct Veterans Day celebrations that provide excellent examples for other communities to follow.

Veterans Day Observance
Veterans Day is always observed on November 11, regardless of the day of the week on which it falls. The Veterans Day National Ceremony is always held on Veterans Day itself, even if the holiday falls on a Saturday or Sunday. However, like all other federal holidays, when it falls on a non-workday — Saturday or Sunday — the federal government employees take the day off on Monday (if the holiday falls on Sunday) or Friday (if the holiday falls on Saturday).

Federal government holiday observance (for federal employees, including military) is established by federal law. 5 U.S.C. 6103 establishes the following public holidays for Federal employees: New Year’s Day, Birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr., Washington’s Birthday (President’s Day), Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Columbus Day, Veterans Day, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas Day.

This federal law does not apply to state and local governments. They are free to determine local government closings (including school closings) locally. As such, there is no legal requirement that schools close of Veterans Day, and many do not. However, most schools hold Veterans Day activities on Veterans Day and throughout the week of the holiday to honor American veterans.

Veterans Day Around the World
Many other countries honor their veterans on November 11th of each year. However, the name of the holiday and the types of ceremonies differ from the Veterans Day activities in the United States.

Canada, Australia, and Great Britain refer to their holidays as “Remembrance Day.” Canada and Australia observe the day on November 11, and Great Britain conducts their ceremonies on the Sunday nearest to November 11th.

In Canada, the observance of “Remembrance Day” is actually quite similar to the United States, in that the day is set aside to honor all of Canada’s veterans, both living and dead. One notable difference is that many Canadians wear a red poppy flower on November 11 to honor their war dead, while the “red poppy” tradition is observed in the United States on Memorial Day.

In Australia, “Remembrance Day” is very much like America’s Memorial Day, in that its considered a day to honor Australian veterans who died in war.

In Great Britain, the day is commemorated by church services and parades of ex-service members in Whitehall, a wide ceremonial avenue leading from London’s Parliament Square to Trafalgar Square. Wreaths of poppies are left at the Cenotaph, a war memorial in Whitehall, which was built after the First World War. At the Cenotaph and elsewhere in the country, a two-minute silence is observed at 11 a.m., to honor those who lost their lives in wars.

Have You Hugged Your Veteran Today?
One of the most personal and meaningful Veterans Day activities for people is to send notes or cards to hospitalized veterans or those living in veterans homes. Or, better yet, visit a veteran in a local veterans hospital or veterans home. The best way to have a “happy Veterans Day” is to do something special to make a veteran happy.