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INTERCHANGE posted by on 2018-02-15 10:25:20 EST

RAMP posted by on 2018-01-30 12:57:58 EST

New Hotel/Meeting posted by on 2018-01-08 10:59:26 EST

Governor State of State posted by on 2018-01-04 08:27:03 EST

News Realease 11/30/2017 posted by on 2017-11-30 16:13:21 EST


Posted by on 2018-02-15 10:25:20 EST

We are now sending the "INTERCHANGE" directly to your inbox email. All you need to do is click the download button. We had allot of trouble sending with a third party program and it got to a point when we could not send to all of you.

We apologize if you did not receive the Winter edition but if you go to the left of this page click on Interchange and go down to Winter 2017.

Now those of you who did not give us an email for us to send to your inbox please send that to me or if you know of Veterans who want to receive this send those too.

Send to


Posted by on 2018-01-30 12:57:58 EST

Vietnam Veterans of America 8719 Colesville Road, Suite 100, Silver Spring, MD 20910 • Telephone (301) 5854000 • Main Fax (301) 585-0519 • Advocacy (301) 585-3180 • Communications (301) 585-2691 • Finance (301) 585-5542 A Not-For-Profit Veterans Service Organization Chartered by the United States Congress January 29, 2018

RE: VVA’s Guidance for the Rapid Appeals Modernization Program (RAMP) Dear State Council Presidents:

This letter is intended to provide general guidance on the Rapid Appeals Modernization Program (RAMP) for you to use or disseminate as appropriate to your membership. On August 23, 2017, Congress enacted the Veterans Appeals Improvement and Modernization Act of 2017, which will drastically change the VA claims and appeals process.

The new law will officially go into effect February 2019; however, VA has already initiated a temporary program that partially implements the new law. This temporary program is called RAMP.

To participate in RAMP, veterans must receive an “opt-in” letter from VA asking if they wish to participate in this optional pilot program. Choosing to opt-in to RAMP is an irreversible decision. RAMP uses different legal standards and rules that may not be pro-veteran; a “faster decision” does not mean a “favorable decision.” Due to various factors, it is the current position of the Veterans Benefits Program (VBP) that veterans not opt-in to RAMP at this time.

Importantly, it is strongly encouraged for anyone receiving a RAMP letter who has questions to reach out to his or her local accredited service representative for guidance. Accredited service representatives are able to look up the claim and see what is going on, as well as provide claim-specific advice. Without the proper training and expertise, it may be difficult for a person who is not a service officer to answer some of the more intricate and complex questions that may arise from RAMP inquiries. Thus, the VBP makes the following recommendations:

1. State Council Presidents and leaders in the state that are not accredited service representative should refer any questions about RAMP to an accredited service officer. To locate an accredited service representative that is nearby to your membership, please visit and search by zip code or state.

2. If a state is receiving questions about RAMP from its membership and there is not an active service officer program in that state, state leadership should refer the VVArepresented veteran or family member to VVA’s National Veterans Benefits Program office. The direct line to that office is (202) 530-9180. For states that do not have an active service officer program, please know that VVA’s VBP is directly reaching out to each veteran or family member that will receive an opt-in letter to provide legal support and guidance if the individual is represented by VVA.

For any additional questions about RAMP or the new law, please do not hesitate to reach out to me at the contact information below.

Sincerely, //s// KY Kelsey Yoon Director, Veterans Benefits Program Vietnam Veterans of America (301) 335-2183

New Hotel/Meeting

Posted by on 2018-01-08 10:59:26 EST

2018 Meeting Dates (Saturday meeting) January 27 April 28 June 30 September 22 •

The deadline for making reservation two weeks prior to the scheduled meeting date.

Make sure that your dates are correct. If you do not arrive on this date, your reservation will be automatically canceled and you are personally responsible for one night’s room charge.

• After that date regular rates will apply. • Telephone number - (607) 699-3900 press “1” • Make reservation using name “Vietnam Veterans of America” • Address - 2384 W. River Road (exit 62) PO Box 509 Nichols, New York 13812 •

Tioga Downs is 100% Smoke Free! • Casino Open Daily 9 am – 3 am • Food on premises (not hotel):

o Breakfast  P.J. Clark’s Mon - Fri 7 am – 10 am  Country Buffet Sat – Sun 8-11 • Virgil’s” BBQ o Hours of Operation: o Thursday 4 pm-9 pm Friday & Saturday 4 pm-12 am Sunday 2 pm-8 pm o Saturdays, Live Music, 9 pm-12 am (21 and over) (607) 699-7664 • Sideshow Lounge o Bar Open Daily o Serving Virgil’s Real BBQ Thursday 4 pm-9 pm Friday & Saturday 4 pm-12 am o Sunday 2 pm-8 pm Live Entertainment: Friday & Saturday: 9 pm-12 am • County Fair Buffet o Fridays | Seafood Buffet (Dinner only 4 pm – 9 pm) o Lunch 11:30 am – 3 pm, $9.99 o Dinner 4 pm – 9 pm, $18.99 o Early Bird 4 pm – 6 pm, $15.99 o Saturdays | Steak & Shrimp (Dinner only 4 pm – 9 pm) o Breakfast Buffet 8 am-11am, $9.99 o Lunch 11:30 am – 3 pm, $9.99 o Dinner 4 pm – 9 pm, $18.99 o Sundays Breakfast Buffet 8 am-10 am, $9.99 o Brunch 10 am – 3 pm, $15.99 o Dinner 3 pm – 8 pm, $15.99 • Players Club (points for discounts)

Governor State of State

Posted by on 2018-01-04 08:27:03 EST

 Serving Our Veterans Under Governor Cuomo's leadership, New York has championed programs to make New York State the most veteran-friendly state in the nation.

The New York State Division of Veterans' Affairs continues to strengthen its ties with the approximately 775,000 veterans living in New York while building upon the programs the Governor envisioned at the Veterans and Military Family Summit in 2014. In 2017, the Divisionis representation of veterans and their family members once again helped these New Yorkers receive more than $100 million in disability compensation and pension benefits from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).

Additionally, Governor Cuomo unveiled several new initiatives to benefit veterans and their family members during 2017, ranging from offering a million dollars in funding for veteran-to-veteran mentorship programs to providing grants to New York law schools helping veterans address unmet legal needs to waiving civil service examination fees for honorably discharged veterans.

The Governor is committed to meeting the needs of veterans across New York. Taken together, the following proposals will ensure that services for veterans, servicemembers, and their families in New York remain a national model of excellence. Proposal: Prevent Financial Exploitation of Veterans and Their Families Veterans who fight to protect our state and nation should never have to continue fighting enemies when they return home. Far too often, deceitful businesses target veterans who are elderly and/or disabled, promising to help veterans and their family members obtain federal benefits in exchange for an often substantial fee. Even though these businesses are legally forbidden from charging a fee for filing these claims, and even though many of these businesses lack the accreditation necessary to file these claims, states struggle to prosecute these wrongdoers unless the state statute specifically outlaws this harmful practice. By enacting the nation's strongest legislation against pension poaching, New York strives to eliminate this predatory conduct.

This law will implement new disclosure requirements for businesses that advertise their fee-based services of filing claims and appeals for VA benefits, and will enable the prosecution of businesses that violate these standards, In doing so, New York will set a national benchmark for preventing the men and women who served our country from becoming victims of financial exploitation.

Proposal: Properly Designate New York State's Veterans Service Agency The New York State Division of Veterans' Affairs is frequently mistaken for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. The acronyms commonly used to designate these agencies compound the confusion, as 'DVR' is similar to "the VA." This confusion frequently leads to misdirected complaints to the Division about claims processing delays at the federal level and management of federal medical centers, and to an overall sense of confusion about the Division's designated role and value for veterans and their families in New York. The Division's statewide outreach efforts have revealed that many veterans decide not to visit the Division's field offices because they believe that the Division is equivalent to the VA. To avoid this confusion, the New York State Division of Veterans' Affairs will now become the New York State Division of Veterans' Services.

This new name accurately defines the constant mission of this agency— serving veterans and their families the rest of the way— and clearly distinguishes the Division from the federal VA, avoiding any unnecessary mistakes and confusion moving forward.

Proposal: Expand Programsfor Veterans Behind Bars Governor Cuomo is dedicated to supporting the brave New Yorkers who have served our country. He recognizes that incarcerated veterans represent a unique segment of the imprisoned population that merit particular attention due to the unique circumstances they face returning home from war, which can often make the duration of incarceration and the transition back into the community upon release especially difficult. Through the Department of Corrections and Community Supervision (DOCCS), the Governor implemented three Veterans Residential Therapeutic Programs at Medium Security Correctional Facilities that identify each veteran's individual needs and provide them with corresponding services. This year, the Governor will provide resources to expand the programs available and offer the programs in to Maximum Security Facilities for the first time. DOCCS will hire additional Licensed Master Social Workers, as well as a coordinator, and purchase a new professionally designed veteran specific curriculum that will broaden the scope of issues addressed, including conflict reduction and post-traumatic stress disorder and other relevant topics. Expanding the program will increase veterans' successful reintegration into society once they leave prison and reduce overall rates of recidivism, aiding our veterans and improving overall public safety.

Proposal: Deliver Access to Justice for Veterans through Law School Partnerships In 2017, Governor Cuomo established New York State's Justice for Heroes grants, awarding $50,000 to each of five law schools offering innovative proposals to address veterans' unmet legal needs. The funding allowed the schools to provide greatly needed free legal assistance to veterans and their family members in several crucial practice areas, including foreclosure prevention and other consumer protection matters, family law assistance, discharge upgrade cases, and complex appeals regarding VA benefits. Building on the success of the initial awards, Governor Cuomo will expand the Justice for Heroes program to offer each of these schools the chance to renew their grants for the next two years. By providing these law schools with a grand total of up to $150,000, each school will be able to improve the sustainability of its new legal services initiatives, ensuring that free legal services for veterans and their families will be provided by faculty and students at these schools for many years to come.

News Realease 11/30/2017

Posted by on 2017-11-30 16:13:21 EST

VA Announces Rollout and Application Process for New Veterans ID Card WASHINGTON —

Today the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced that the application process for the national Veterans Identification Card (VIC) is now available for Veterans — yet another action honoring their service. This has been mandated through legislation since 2015 to honor Veterans, and today’s rollout of the ID card fulfills that overdue promise. Only those Veterans with honorable service will be able to apply for the ID card, which will provide proof of military service, and may be accepted by retailers in lieu of the standard DD-214 form to obtain promotional discounts and other services where offered to Veterans. “The new Veterans Identification Card provides a safer and more convenient and efficient way for most Veterans to show proof of service,” said VA Secretary Dr. David J. Shulkin.

“With the card, Veterans with honorable service to our nation will no longer need to carry around their paper DD-214s to obtain Veteran discounts and other services.” The VIC provides a more portable and secure alternative for those who served the minimum obligated time in service, but did not meet the retirement or medical discharge threshold. Veterans who served in the armed forces, including the reserve components, and who have a discharge of honorable or general (under honorable conditions) can request a VIC. To request a VIC, Veterans must visit, click on “Apply for Printed Veteran ID Card” on the bottom left of the page and sign in or create an account. Veterans who apply for a card should receive it within 60 days and can check delivery status of their cards at A digital version of the VIC will be available online by mid-December. ### ++++++++++++++++

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Nov. 29, 2017 White House VA Hotline Now Fully Staffed and Operational Around the Clock to Serve Nation’s Veterans WASHINGTON —

Today the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced that the White House VA Hotline, first launched in June as part of President Donald J. Trump’s commitment to reforming VA, is now fully staffed with live agents working to serve Veterans 24-hours a day, 365 days a year. The hotline, which became 24-hour operational in mid-October, is now staffed by a team consisting of 90 percent Veterans or employees who have a Veteran family member, and is in response to Veterans’ requests to talk to agents who could relate to their experiences. “The White House VA Hotline provides our nation’s Veterans with a direct, dedicated contact line that allows them to interact with highly trained, live agents to answer their needs and concerns,” said VA Secretary David J. Shulkin. “Since the initial launch of the hotline in June, we listened to our Veterans, who indicated that they prefer speaking with other Veterans and Veteran family members, and we adjusted our hiring based on that feedback,” added Shulkin. “We’re proud that the hotline is now staffed 24/7 by a team of mostly Veterans or Veteran family members who have direct knowledge of their particular concerns and can use their experience to address them in the best way possible with the resources of the VA. This represents a true win-win for Veterans and their loved ones.” Since 24/7 coverage began in October, the hotline has served more than 10,000 callers. Hotline agents answer inquiries, provide directory assistance, document concerns about VA care, benefits and services, and expedite the referral and resolution of those concerns. Agents undergo regular updates and training on VA services based on hotline trends and are assisted by newly implemented tracking software to help VA capture and improve its response, referral and resolution processes to best support Veterans. The hotline can be accessed at 855-948-2311 and is VA’s first non-clinical, non-emergency around-the-clock call center. It provides Veterans a supplemental option to report issues if they are not being addressed through VA’s normal customer service channels. The hotline’s agents are located at a VA facility in Shepherdstown, West Virginia. Agents have access to a multitude of resources and contact information to help Veterans. The hotline also generates real-time reports to VA experts who can help address the specific issues of Veterans as well as make better-informed decisions on where program improvements are needed. ###

Press Realease 10/17/2017

Posted by on 2017-10-17 10:30:38 EDT

IMMEDIATE RELEASE October 16, 2017 No. 16-51

Contact: Mokie Porter 301-585-4000, Ext. 146

VVA’s Veterans Health Council Calls on Senate to Oppose Importation of Medicines Washington, D.C.–

Dr. Tom Berger, Executive Director of Vietnam Veterans of America’s Veterans Health Council, released the following statement today, urging the Senate to oppose any consideration of putting the American drug supply at risk by importing drugs from other countries:

“For many years, the Council has stood in opposition to the importation of medicines. Once again, the time has come to affirm our position on this issue We are deeply disappointed to hear that the Senate might be considering legislation for the importation of prescription medicines from overseas for whom the FDA has no jurisdiction.

Framed as a cost-cutting measure, this could serve as a serious threat to our national security. It needlessly exposes millions of American patients, many of whom are veterans and family members of veterans, to medicines the U.S. simply cannot guarantee to be safe or effective

." Vietnam Veterans of America is the nation’s only congressionally chartered veterans service organization dedicated to the needs of Vietnam-era veterans and their families. VVA's founding principle is “Never again will one generation of veterans abandon another.” --30--


Posted by on 2015-10-12 16:43:30 EDT

"Finally a Voice" The Birth of VVA DVD is still availble for $15. You can order by going to: or send your order to NVBDC, 325 Cresent Ln., Detroit, MI 48207.

If you wish I have some copies and send that to

All should have a copy. All chapters should have copy and show at a meeting. Maybe there will be renewed interest in VVA. Maybe bring in new members. Who knows but 15 bucks is worth a try and you can help us contributers for this film project and DVD's pay off our debts.