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VETERANS' RESOURCE GUIDE

A supplement to the Whidbey News-Times, South Whidbey Record and The Whidbey Examiner

2016


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Veterans Resource Guide 2016

Opportunity council,VFW partner to address veteran homelessness The top priority for the Opportunity Council in Oak Harbor is to address and prevent veteran homelessness. Even though the Oak Harbor organization receives state and federal money, sometimes the strings attached make it difficult to meet that goal. Enter the local Veterans of Foreign Wars Motorcycle Riders. The VFW riders raised more than $1,000 last year, and that money has helped more than one veteran stay off the streets. “If it wasn’t for them, I don’t know where we’d be,” said Monica Lopez, the organization’s veteran services and homeless outreach coordinator. Lopez has used the money to pay for things that she can’t spend government money on,

such as housing applications, an ID card fee and a nurse’s license that allowed a veteran to attain work. Opportunity Council is funded primarily through the Supportive Services for Veteran Families provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs. “Overall it’s a housing stabilization and self-sufficiency program,” Lopez said. “The main thing is housing and all the benefits trickle down from there.” The program aims to address the county’s homeless population, prevent veterans from losing their homes and rehouse them quickly if they are displaced. While Lopez’s program is able to assist the broader homeless population, she is tasked to look specifically for veterans who may

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be eligible for services that could stabilize their lives. A common misconception is that to qualify for these statefunded county services a veteran needs to be retired. To qualify, they need to have served in the armed forces active duty. In many cases, veterans may not know they are eligible for certain benefits or they forget to apply. In addition to serving the service population in Oak Harbor, Lopez said she is willing to travel to South Whidbey or to the Stanwood Camano Resource Center to meet with Island County residents who need assistance. Lopez also partners with other Opportunity Council and county programs that can help with utilities or medical coverage.

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Opportunity Council plans to hold a Veterans Resource Fair 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, May 7 at the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 7392 on Goldie Road in Oak Harbor. A number of organizations will be on hand, including local veterans service organizations and VA representatives who can help enroll. Those interested in donating to the VFW riders can visit Post 7392 on Goldie Road in Oak Harbor or call 360-675-4048. The Opportunity Council can be reached at 360-679-6577, ext 136. Walk-ins are welcome Monday through Thursday 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Veterans may also make an appointment in advance. The office is located at 1791 NE 1st Ave. #1, Oak Harbor.

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Veterans Resource Guide 2016

Disabled American Vets provide rides, claim assistance The Disabled American Veterans Chapter 47 has got your back. This nonprofit, which receives no federal money, helps veterans with a disability caused by military service and also assists their families. The local chapter’s five service officers can help file claims with the Department of Veterans Affairs. They’re trained to do so, said Floyd Hawkins, chapter commander. In fact, it’s a requirement the service officers have some sort of disability incurred by military service. They know something about what the servicemen and women they help are going through. One of the major services they provide are driving veterans to the VA hospital in Seattle for free. In 2015, drivers spent more

than 1,400 hours behind the wheel shuttling veterans to Seattle. They also served about 60 veterans per week who needed help filing claims, he said. All the drivers and local service officers are volunteers who want to help other service members. Formerly located on Seaplane Base, the DAV now has offices in the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 7392 at 3037 Goldie Road, Oak Harbor. The chapter is considering moving to a location on Midway Boulevard in March. If you would like to come by this spring, call ahead of time to check the location. A service officer is available Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Walk-ins are welcome, no appointments necessary. They have a new phone number: 360-682-2945.

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We honor and appreciate Veterans!

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Veterans Resource Guide 2016

CLUBS & ORGANIZATIONS The A-3 Skywarrior Whidbey Memorial Foundation: A nonprofit organization, established to provide the means and funds to place the A-3 aircraft on display at NAS Whidbey Island. www.a3skywarriorfor whidbey.org. A-3 Skywarrior Whidbey Memorial Foundation, Post Office Box 1402, Oak Harbor. Contact Ralph Estes III, chairman, d7sus4@msn.com; or Bill Young, director, 360-679-4843 or capthawk@whidbey.net American Legion: Focusing on service to veterans, their families and communities. George Morris Post 129, Oak Harbor, 690 S.E. Barrington Drive, 360-6756752; South Whidbey Post 141, Bayview, 14096 State Highway 525; 360-321-5696.

Disabled American Veterans Chapter 47: Provides assistance to all disabled veterans and their families. Service officers available five days of the week with offices at the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 7392, 3037 Goldie Road. Walk-ins are welcome, no appointments necessary; 360-682-2945. Fleet Reserve Association: Oak Harbor Branch 97, a community for the Sea Services including U.S. Navy, Marines and Coast Guard personnel. 311 Southeast 8th Ave., Oak Harbor; 360-675-3414. Island County Veterans Services: Provides emergency financial assistance, case management and other support services to indigent veterans and their

dependents. Contact Dana Sawyers at 360-675-4093 or d.sawyers@co.island.wa.us Ladies Auxiliary Fleet Reserve Association: Branch 97 is open to the wives and widows, mothers, sisters, daughters and granddaughters of active or retired members of the U.S. Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard. Assists needs of Fleet Reserve Association, its members and their families; 360-675-3414. Marine Corps League: Megan McClung Detachment 1210 promotes the ideals of American freedom and Marine history, as well as assisting Marines, chaplains and other associated service men and women. Meets 7 p.m. the 2nd Thursday of each month at the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 7392, 3037 Goldie Road. www. mcleague.com

Navy League: Oak Harbor Area Navy League, chartered in 1956, is a nonprofit organization dedicated to educating the American people and their government that the U.S. is a maritime nation and that our economy and defense depends upon the sea services. www.oakharbornavyleague.org PBY Memorial Foundation: Dedicated to the preservation and study of all PBY “Catalina” aircraft as well as the aviation and military history. Museum located at 270 S.E. Pioneer Way, Oak Harbor. Displays a PBY aircraft that actually flew from NAS Whidbey Island. Contact 360-240-9500; www.pbyma.org Retired Officers’ Wives: Strictly social organization. The group’s purpose is to acquaint the wives of the retired officers in this area; 360-679-4527.

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Veterans Resource Guide 2016

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VFW Ladies Auxiliary, Oak Harbor: Provides military care packages, support for veterans‚ hospitals, community service, cancer aid and research assistance, Senior Christmas luncheon and Easter egg hunt. Call 360-675-4048 or visit www. vfwpost7392.org VFW Post 7392, Oak Harbor: Provides scholarships, essay contests, funeral services on request for military veterans, job placement assistance, promotes patriotism, VA benefit assistance, distributes holiday baskets, and provides phone cards to deployed service members; 360-675-4048 or www. vfw7392.org Veterans Resource Center: Provides veteran service outreach and peer support groups with regular hours 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursdays. 14096 Hwy. 525, Bayview. 360-331-8081. www.whidbeyvrc.org Veterans Transition Support and Development Center: Helps people transition from the military to the civilian world. The nonprofit is set to open in March of 2016. 775 NE Midway Blvd., Oak Harbor. For more information contact Gary Strong at 210-845-9291 or gary.strong@vetsdc.org. vetsdc.org and facebook.com/vetsdc The Whidbey Island Chapter of the Military Officers Association of America (WICMOAA): the local affiliate of MOAA, which is open to all retired or active duty officers of the Uniformed Services of the United States. Chapter meetings are the second Thursday of the month at the Whidbey Island NAS Officers’ Club. Contact David G. Cohick for more information at 360-675-5171 or dgcohick@comcast.net

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Veterans Resource Guide 2016

WHIDBEY VETERANS RESOURCE CENTER Mission: Connect, Serve, and Educate Veterans and their Families

Information and Referrals Assistance with obtaining VA and other Benefits, Support Groups Community Events & Programs WVRC Welcomes, Honors Veterans, their Families and Communities Please call for hours, services, and ways to get involved

360.331.8081

www.whidbeyvrc.org

14096 Hwy. 525 Bayview • PO Box 85, Freeland, WA 98249

Donations to WVRC, a 501c3 organization, are tax deductible

Center aims to strengthen Whidbey 's vet community It took 15 years for Dean Fosdick to get his claim with the Department of Veterans Affairs filled. He doesn’t want anyone else to go through what he did. Fosdick, a service officer with the American Legion South Whidbey Post 141, also volunteers with the Veterans Resource Center, which works with veterans and their families to receive the benefits they deserve after having served in the military. Fosdick, who served in the U.S. Army, developed post-traumatic stress disorder and other physical ailments brought on by serving in Desert Storm. He had to fight through a tangled sea of red tape. He called congressman and wrote the president. It shouldn’t be that difficult or time consuming, he said. Since moving to Whidbey Island, he’s seen that veterans here have even a harder time connecting with the help they need. At the center,

he works with around 8 to 10 veterans a month. They dealing with a range of service-related conditions, including heart disease, brain trauma, diabetes, titinitus, skin conditions. As a result, many veteran families struggle and are barely able to meet their living expenses. More than 13,000 veterans live in Island County. More than 2,500 are disabled and a high number suffer from PTSD, according to staff at the center. Weekly support groups are available for men and women at 5 p.m. Tuesdays and for women alone 5 p.m. Mondays. The center is open 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursdays at the Bayview American Legion, 14096 Highway 525 inn Langley. Appointments are suggested but not necessary. Contact: whidbeyvrc@gmail.com or 360-331-8081.

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Special Sections - Veteran's Resource Guide 2016  

i20160201155201584.pdf

Special Sections - Veteran's Resource Guide 2016  

i20160201155201584.pdf