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)

Volunteers Needed for Vietnam Traveling Wall

Volunteers are needed to help with the Vietnam Traveling Wall – Celebration of Freedom. Coos County Veteran Services will be hosting the exhibit. The wall will be located at Sturdevant Park, Coquille from September 13-16, 2018.  For more information, please call 541-396-7590 or email Coosvets@co.coos.or.us.

Applications Opening Soon for 2018 National Veterans Golden Age Games

Albuquerque, New Mexico, event kicks off Aug. 3

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) will begin accepting applications on April 2 from Veterans interested in competing in the 2018 National Veterans Golden Age Games in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Aug. 3-8.

Veterans ages 55 and older who are eligible for VA health care benefits may complete applications online through May 2 at www.veteransgoldenagegames.va.gov.

“The Golden Age Games empower our nation’s senior Veterans to lead active, healthy lives,” said VA Secretary David Shulkin. “After more than a week of competition, many participants have boasted of an overall improvement to their quality of life and a rejuvenation to stay active and fit.”

Nearly 800 athletes are expected to compete in the national multi-sport competition for senior Veterans. The event encourages participants to make physical activity a central part of their lives, and supports VA’s comprehensive recreation and rehabilitation therapy programs.

Competitive events include air rifle, badminton, basketball, boccia, bowling, cycling, blind disc golf, golf, horseshoes, nine ball, pickleball, powerwalk, shuffleboard, swimming, table tennis and track and field. Exhibition events include air pistol, archery and floorball.

The games encourage participants to continue in local senior events in their home communities, and every other year serve as a qualifying event for competition in the National Senior Games. The New Mexico VA Health Care System, which provides care for more than 59,000 Veterans throughout New Mexico and Southern Colorado, will host this year’s games.

For more information, visit www.veteransgoldenagegames.va.gov. Follow VA Adaptive Sports on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram @Sports4Vets.

VA and U.S. Digital Service Launch New Web Tool to Help Veterans Track their Benefits Appeals

WASHINGTON — Today the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and the U.S Digital Service announced their launch of an improved Appeals Status tool to increase transparency and enable Veterans to track the progress of their benefits claims appeals.

“It’s important that our Veterans have the opportunity to track their appeals process in a timely and efficient manner,” said VA Secretary David Shulkin. “For the first time ever, Veterans can see their place on the Board of Veterans’ Appeals’ docket, including the number of appeals that are ahead of them.”

The tool, which went live March 21 on VA’s Vets.gov website, will allow Veterans to access detailed information about the status of their benefits appeals and will include alerts about needed actions, as well as estimates of how long each step of the process takes.

Some Veterans who have previewed the new tool said it had given them hope and helped them understand that the process might take longer than expected.

Bandon to be designated ‘Medal of Honor City’

George Trott, District 3 commander of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, has made another step in making Bandon the only city in Oregon to be designated a “Medal of Honor City” according to a report published in the Bandon Western World. For more click the link.

Veterans Hear From New VA Roseburg Director At Town Hall

reported by Rachael McDonald for KLCC

The new interim Director of the Roseburg Veterans Administration Health Care system held a town hall this week on the Medical Center campus. This comes as the VA Office of the Medical Inspector prepares to release a full report on its investigation into complaints of bullying and a “toxic culture” at the facility.

About 100 people filled the auditorium at the Roseburg VA as interim Director David Whitmer outlined his agenda and took questions. Whitmer was brought in last month to replace Doug Paxton.

For more of the story, click here.

Veterans can now use My HealtheVet credentials to access benefits tools on Vets.gov

reprinted from the USDOVA Blog

More than four million Veterans can now use their My HealtheVet credentials to access services from across VA on Vets.gov. This means that Veterans can now log in one time, in one place, to refill a prescription, check their claim and apply for benefits that help them pay for college and training programs.

This is the first time that Veterans with a My HealtheVet patient portal account can use those credentials to access benefits tools such as checking the status of a claim ,an appeal or GI Bill benefit, in addition to a variety of health care tools.

Allowing Veterans to use their VA-approved credential of choice to access all of VA’s online services is a key milestone in VA’s digital modernization strategy. Previously, Veterans were only able to use their DS Logon accounts or ID.me accounts to log in to Vets.gov. This created an unnecessary roadblock for Veterans trying to use their preferred credential to access other VA services online and this new functionality will remove that roadblock.

How it works
Users can visit Vets.gov and sign in with their their My HealtheVet credential. Veterans will be asked to enter their email address and then they will be given the option to secure their account using multi-factor authentication (e.i. phone, text, code generator). From there, users can access all of the services Vets.gov provides. Learn more about how it works.

Premium My HealtheVet account holders will not need to re-verify their identity and will immediately gain access to send a secure message to their health care team, download their health records, track their claims and appeals and much more. My HealtheVet users who have not gone through an identity-proofing process will be offered the chance to complete an online identity-proofing process powered by ID.me if they wish to access features that require that extra personal security such as the staus of claims and appeals.

About the author: Natalie Moore is a product manager with the Digital Service at VA, an agency team of the U.S. Digital Service, that transforms critical, Veteran-facing digital services by applying modern technology best practices.

Seeking 2018 Oregon Woman Veteran of the Year

Do you know an inspirational Oregon woman veteran?

The Oregon Woman Veteran of the Year Award recognizes a woman veteran who has compiled a record of exemplary service as a veteran and an outstanding member of the community.
This award is part of the Oregon Department of Veterans’ Affairs ongoing effort and commitment to respond to women veterans’ issues where women veterans live, work, and enjoy the freedoms of our great country, and to encourage greater participation in the semi-annual women veterans’ conferences.
The selection criteria focuses on the nominee’s achievements as a veteran, in support of veterans, and her commitment to women veterans’ issues, and as a citizen in service of her hometown, the State of Oregon, and the United States of America.
We encourage submissions from veterans, Veterans Service Organizations (VSO’s), County Veteran Service Officers (CVSO’s), and other veterans groups.
The nomination form must be submitted in writing by March 30. The award will be presented and recognized at the 2018 Oregon Women Veterans Conference, April 26 – 28 in Sunriver, Oregon.
Nomination forms are available to download or by calling (503) 373-2264 to request the form be emailed, faxed or mailed to you. Forms may be requested by mail at:
Oregon Department of Veterans’ Affairs
Women Veterans Coordinator
700 Summer Street NE
Salem, OR 97301


First 2018 meeting of the Oregon Veterans’ Advisory Committee will be held in Corvallis

The first 2018 meeting of the Advisory Committee to the Oregon Department of Veterans’ Affairs will be held from 9:30 a.m. to noon March 7 at 4 Spirits Distillery, 3405 S.W. Deschutes St. in Corvallis. The public is invited to attend and participate.
The committee is made up of veterans appointed by the governor to provide counsel on veteran issues and represent veteran concerns across Oregon. Its nine members serve in a vital advisory role to the director and staff of the Oregon Department of Veterans’ Affairs.
The advisory committee’s meetings are held throughout the state on the first Wednesday in March, June, September and December. Registration is encouraged, but not required. If you plan on attending, please RSVP here.
More information can be found on ODVA’s website. To contact the Advisory Committee, please email vaac@odva.state.or.us.

Oregon veteran who secured first military headstone for same-sex spouse dies at 71

It’s been five years since retired Air Force Lt. Col. Linda Campbell buried the ashes of her wife, Nancy Lynchild, at Willamette National Cemetery just southeast of Portland.
It was just after the military dropped the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy” that prohibited its gay, lesbian and bisexual members from serving openly but before the U.S. Supreme Court ruled same-sex marriage is a Constitutional right.

And it was the first time a U.S. veteran had secured a burial plot for her same-sex spouse at a military cemetery.
Soon, Linda will join Lynchild in the plot she lobbied the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to grant her partner of 22 years. The Air Force veteran has died at 71, according to a Campbell family release.  Read more at OregonLive


VA Partners with Cohen Veterans Network to Increase Access to Mental Health Resources

WASHINGTON — Today the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and the Cohen Veterans Network, Inc., (CVN) announced a new partnership to increase Veterans’ access to mental health resources to reduce Veteran suicides.
The partnership will allow VA and CVN to work together to advance and improve Veterans’ mental health and well-being and expand and promote community collaboration to increase Veterans’ access to mental health resources.
“VA and CVN have a shared goal to improve Veterans’ health and access to mental health services to reduce Veteran suicide,” said VA Secretary David J. Shulkin. “With 14 out of the 20 Veterans who take their own lives per day not engaging VA care, partnerships such as this help those Veterans, as well as their families, receive care where they live.”
As part of the collaboration, VA and CVN will:
Work together on potential mental health education initiatives, consumer marketing and public health messaging
Discuss potential locations for Cohen Clinics in regions believed to have underserved Veterans in need of mental health care services
Collaborate to share publicly available, VA-developed educational resources for health care providers, such as military culture training and suicide prevention training with CVN staff and clinic employees.
“This partnership will help us save lives by getting care to Veterans faster and, therefore, preventing suicides,” said Dr. Anthony Hassan, president and CEO of CVN. “We are excited about partnering with VA and advancing the field through innovative clinician training initiatives and public messaging. This partnership adds another layer of depth and quality to our robust network of Cohen Military Family Clinics.”
For more information about VA mental health services, visit www.mentalhealth.va.gov. Information about the Cohen Veterans Network may be found at: https://www.cohenveteransnetwork.org.
Veterans in crisis or having thoughts of suicide — and those who know a Veteran in crisis — should call the Veterans Crisis Line for confidential support 24 hours a day and 365 days a year. Call 800-273-8255 and press 1, chat online at VeteransCrisisLine.net/Chat, or text to 838255.