1611 Virginia Ave., Ste 212, Box 406, North Bend , Oregon 97459 Hours: M-Th 9:30am-4pm sovo4vets@gmail.com 541-756-8718 (Office) 541-756-8758 (Fax)

Blue Christmas at Roseburg VA This Coming Saturday

Do you struggle with emotional or spiritual pain during the holidays? Feeling lonely?
You may want to take solace during the upcoming Blue Christmas Service to be held at the Roseburg Veterans Affairs Medical Center, 913 NW Garden Valley Blvd, Roseburg.
The service will be on Saturday, December 15, from 5:30 pm to 6:15 pm in Building 16 Auditorium. Chaplains and counselors will be present to support those who want to talk after the service.
The service will be Christian, but all are welcome. There will be no effort to convert or criticize. The service is open to the public.

Oregon Sailor Who Died at Pearl Harbor Identified Through DNA

Next Spring, Rosella Workinner will bury the remains of her brother, Claude Gowey, 78 years after he died in the attack on Pearl Harbor.  Gowey served on the USS Oklahoma.  He was identified through DNA by the Department of Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency in Hawaii.
The plans are to bury him in Arlington National Cemetary.
The story was reported by News Channel 21- KTVZ.com. Click here for the original story.

VA is single largest provider of HIV care in the US

December 1 is World AIDS Day. VA joins our federal partners in recognizing this day and taking time to reflect on the impact of the HIV/AIDS epidemic, how well we diagnose and care for people with HIV, and our continued efforts to prevent HIV among those most vulnerable.
VA is the single largest provider of HIV care in the US, serving over 30,000 Veterans with HIV across the country. VA is committed to each step in the HIV care continuum from testing and diagnosis, to linkage to care, and treatment and prevention. Community and federal partners play a critical in extending the care we can provide to our Veterans with HIV.
With over 43% of all Veterans in care tested for HIV, VA is committed to ensuring all Veterans continue to have access to testing and high-quality HIV care at diagnosis.
VA is committed to testing and high-quality HIV care.
VA is also committed to HIV prevention by continuing to strongly promote Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP), a medication that can help prevent HIV for those who are negative but at risk for HIV.
In 2018, VA is also focusing on increasing awareness and action on HIV treatment as prevention (TasP) or Undetectable=Untransmittable (U=U).
If a person with HIV is on HIV medications (antiretroviral therapy, or ART) with a consistently undetectable HIV viral load, the HIV virus cannot be transmitted to a sex partner. “Undetectable” means that the level of HIV in a person’s blood is so low that it doesn’t show up on a blood test.
If the virus is undetectable, the person with HIV cannot pass the virus on to others through sex. This is critical to preventing new cases of HIV. At VA, we are working to make sure that people diagnosed with HIV are started on treatment right away and stay on treatment.
You can ask your VA provider about PrEP, and you can ask them for a prescription for condoms at your next visit. With your help in taking preventative measures, we can reduce the number of new HIV infections and work to make sure Veterans in VA care with HIV are receiving the very best treatment available.
Learn more about prevention on the VA’s HIV/AIDS Website.

Written by Elizabeth Maguire, MSW,  the communications lead for the HIV, Hepatitis and Related Conditions Programs.

Oregon’s Women Veterans Still Underserved, Lack Resources

Elizabeth Estabrooks, Oregon Women Veterans coordinator came to Coos County to visit with members of the newly formed Women Veterans of the Oregon Coast.
She took time out to talk with Lauren Negrete of KCBY about the lack of resources for women veterans. These include mammograms, OBGYN, and mental health care among other services.
She also spoke of the 85 percent increase in suicides among women veterans.
For a look at the interview, click here.

Deceased Veterans Receive Full Military Honors

Every month Willamette National Cemetery presents a Military Memorial Service to ensure every veteran receives a funeral with full military honors.
For nearly two decades WNC has held a monthly memorial service, usually on the fourth Thursday of the month. For various reasons, including no living family, dire medical issues for surviving family, or even indigence, some deceased veterans are laid to rest at WNC without receiving military honors. With an average monthly roster of 25-30, the monthly memorial pays full military respects to those “orphaned” deceased veterans who were interred at the cemetery the preceding month.
To read more of the story, written by Patti McCoy and published in the Lake Oswego Review, click here.

New Study Shows Entrepreneurial Vets Have Harder Time Getting Financing

A new report released in November details a decline in veteran entrepreneurship compared to earlier generations of veterans. Further, the study shows that veterans are now owning businesses at a lower rate than nonveterans.
The information comes from a partnership between the US Small Business Administration’s Office of Veteran Business Development OVBD) and the Federal Reserve Bank of New York to examine veteran business financing. Data from the study provides substantial evidence that veterans have a harder time getting capital and financing than non-veterans.
Authors of the paper published November 2018, Sid Sankaran from the Small Business Administration and Jessica Battisto, of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, wrote while referring to the declining rate of veteran entrepreneurship:

A study conducted by the SBA’s Office of Advocacy in 2011 found that “military service is highly correlated with self-employment probability,” and that “veterans are at least 45 percent more likely than those with no active-duty military experience to be self-employed.”
This economic engine for the US cannot be overstated; in 2012, there were 2.5 million veteran-owned businesses generating $1.1 trillion in sales and $195 billion in annual payroll.
However, even in 2011, the SBA study noted a decline in veteran entrepreneurial activity. “The cohort of veterans who served in World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War era were more likely to be self-employed relative to veterans serving since 2001, or Gulf War veterans.”
An obvious factor here is age; as noted by a 2016 US Bureau of Labor Statistics report, “the higher rate of self-employment among veterans also partially reflects the older age profile of veterans: 40 percent of employed veterans were aged 55 years and older, compared with 21 percent of nonveterans. Older workers are more likely to be self-employed than younger workers.”
Furthermore, given that veterans are older, we would naturally expect to see fewer veteran entrepreneurs as more veterans age out of the workforce. As such, the Kauffman Foundation noted that the share of all new entrepreneurs represented by veterans “was 12.3 percent in 1996 but had steadily declined to 5.6 percent by 2014, and that most of the decline was due to the declining share of veterans in the US working-age population.”

The report takes a look at the potential drivers of declining veteran entrepreneurship, covers the data from the credit survey, discusses the demand for and availability of financing, the reasons for financing shortfalls, and ends with some research conclusions and forward thoughts.
For a copy of the report in pdf format, hover over and click on the title: Financing Their Future: Veteran Entrepreneurs and Capital Access

December 7, 1941 at 7:48am – Attack on Pearl Harbor

December 7, 1941, at 7:48 a.m. local time, 353 Imperial Japanese aircrafts bombed eight U.S. Navy ships docked at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii. Some 2,403 Americans were killed, 1,178 more were wounded and 960 were declared missing. As an event, it ignited U.S. involvement in the ongoing Second World War. Every year since, Americans from Washington, D.C. to Hawaii have honored those that died and remember the day that will “live in infamy,” to quote then-President Franklin Roosevelt.
“Yesterday, December 7, 1941—a date which will live in infamy—the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan,” Roosevelt said in an address to Congress the day after the attack. He later added, “No matter how long it may take us to overcome this premeditated invasion, the American people in their righteous might will win through to absolute victory.”

Looking for a new job for the new year? Check out the DCBS Career Fair, Friday, January 18, 2019

The Department of Consumer and Business Services (DCBS) is holding a Career Fair on Friday, January 18, 2019 from 10am to 3pm in the Labor and Industries Building, 350 Winter St. NE, Salem, OR.
DCBS works with consumers and businesses in the areas of building safety, finance (insurance, investments, Oregon-chartered banks and credit unions, consumer finance companies, mortgage lenders, pawnbrokers,and payday lenders) and workplace health and safety.
If you are looking for a more diverse workplace, DCBS may provide it. According to their website, “We honor all forms of diversity and value the differences in opinions, background, and perspective, which encourages creativity in our approach to achieving our mission. We are committed to increasing the diversity of our workforce. We promote an inclusive culture and strive to achieve our goal of being an employer of choice.”
What kinds of jobs do they have available? Again, quoting from the website:
Building, electrical, and plumbing inspectors
Consumer advocates
Financial examiners and analysts
Human resources analysts
Industrial hygienists
Information technology specialists
Medical reviewers
Policy analysts
Research analysts
Many other types of professionals
Click here for a pdf on How to Prepare for the Career Fair.
Need more information? Check out the Career Fair website or email for more information.

Limited Legal Help Available Free to Oregon Veterans

Limited free legal help is currently available to Oregon veterans out of the VA Behavioral Health Rehabilitation and Reintegration Services (BHRRS) Clinic. The clinic is located at 211 East 7th Ave., on the second floor. Hours of operation are the last Wednesday of every month from 5:00 to 7:00 pm.
The type of cases accepted includes criminal and civil, divorce, family law, landlord-tenant, debtor-creditor, bankruptcy, public benefits, wills and probate, and injury and malpractice that doesn’t involve the VA.
The legal services are provided by Marc Friedman of Access the Law, 245 West 13th Avenue, Eugene, OR 07401 or call (541) 686-4890. A free initial consultation will be provided. If he is retained for work outside the clinic, a sliding fee scale is used depending on income. Appointments are preferred, but walk-ins are accepted on a space available basis.
If you would like more information contact Susan Harrison VJO Coordinator at susan.harrison@va.gov.

Be Strong Enough to Ask for Help – Suicide Awareness and Prevention

Every three days, an Oregon veteran takes his or her life.

According to the latest data from the VA, Oregon veterans commit suicide at a rate that is significantly higher than the state’s general suicide rate. In Oregon, veterans represent only 8 percent of the population but account for 16 percent of the suicides.
Veteran advocates across the state and nation are investing significant resources to address the issues believed to be risk factors for veteran suicide. Both nationally and in our state, data is informing the policy and funding to address the core issues impacting veteran suicide. This data is also influencing how we do outreach and the community partners that are crucial to ending this crisis.
Taking a hard look at the data helps advocates identify groups with a high risk for suicide that might otherwise be overlooked, like the aging population (55 and older), which in our state, comprises 60 percent of veteran suicides.
“As a veteran, these numbers are deeply painful to me,” said Kelly Fitzpatrick, newly appointed director of the Oregon Department of Veterans’ Affairs. “When we were in service, our most basic instinct was to protect the one on our right and the one on our left, and those instincts don’t just go away after we leave the service.”
Suicide has become a public health concern that causes immeasurable pain among individuals, families, and communities across the country. Veterans specifically, are committing suicide at a much higher rate than that of the general population. The VA estimates that the national number of veterans who take their own lives is 22 people every single day.
“Every single one of those 22 veterans matters in infinite ways,” Fitzpatrick said. “Every veteran matters. Each has served his or her county and the impacts of their service are as unique as they are. Although veterans all gain great strength from serving our country, it’s not surprising that many of us also face challenges when reintegrating back into civilian life. These challenges can easily lead to crisis, depending on the individual’s experiences, support network (or lack thereof) and other factors.”
On average, 70 percent of veterans who end their lives never engaged the VA for services. Just as every veteran matters, so does every accessible wraparound service to address the myriad of risk factors that increase the likelihood of a veteran taking their own life. Major risk factors include: a prior suicide attempt, mental health conditions, stressful life events such as the loss of a major relationship, job loss, the death of a loved one, and the availability of lethal means.
Veterans may have additional unique risk factors from their service that increase their likelihood to commit suicide including a service-related injury (mental and physical), and life transition from military service to civilian life. Both of these factors left unresolved, may increase their likelihood of choosing to end their life.
And this work is not happening only on a national level. Here in Oregon, Gov. Kate Brown has made it one of her administration’s top priorities to end veteran suicide in our state, by taking concrete steps to ensure at-risk veterans have adequate access to care, housing, and mental health treatment.
Veteran advocates need the community’s help to raise awareness of veteran suicide and the resources that exist. Oregon veterans need to know that regardless of the life circumstances, there is an entire community behind them who understands and has the best expert help and resources available to help them address the very real-life issues they are experiencing.
“We must also work together to remove the stigma associated with asking for help,” Fitzpatrick said. “Military service members undergo rigorous training to be self-reliant, so the challenge of admitting you are facing something you can’t overcome on your own is often harder for veterans than civilians. Other veterans are key in this. Those who have faced mental health challenges can offer great strength and courage to veterans in crisis simply by being open and honest about their own stories.”
Any veteran or person concerned for a veteran in crisis can call the confidential 24/7 National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255). Veterans PRESS 1. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline website has crisis and longer-term self-care information for veterans, as well as information for friends and families who are concerned for their loved one, including finding support, asking for help and stories from survivors of suicide attempts.
For assistance in accessing and learning about the local, state and federal veteran benefits and resources like service-connection compensation, pensions, employment, education, housing, or other veteran services, contact Oregon Department of Veterans’ Affairs or a county veteran service office.
Statewide contact information, along with additional benefit and resource information, is located online at www.oregon.gov/odva.