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Veterans Resource Guide 2018

Resource Center strengthening veterans The Veterans Resource Center in Langley provides a safe portal through which returning combat veterans can build resiliency, increase access to and use of internal and external resources and reintegrate into family and community life. The nonprofit organization’s goals include: n Acknowledging the uniqueness of combat trauma and its effects on Veterans and their families and communities. n ”Do no harm" while healing the wounds of war. n Providing a safe portal through which the returning combat veteran will be able to come "all the way home.” n Fostering mutual education and support for all participants. n Strategizing maximum availability, efficiency and effectiveness of programs. n Networking with existing Veteran organizations, community groups and churches. n Advocating for Veterans in the area of medical and mental health services, disability and

educational benefits as well as family cohesiveness and healing. n Creating and operating a safe and inviting activity center site that respects diversity, nurtures trust and provides reintegration opportunities within a community context. n Gathering and making available, to the public and to the service provider community, current research and resource materials in the fields of combat related trauma and healing including a library of relevant books, movies, music and resources. n Offering safe socialization, mentoring and other learning opportunities and referrals for veterans and their families who would benefit from more individual or community support and interaction. n Educating the community and project volunteers about current growing edge research regarding the invisible wounds of combat, resiliency and reintegration. The center also organizes the

annual Stand Down event during the summer. The event is open to all veterans and their families, and offers free food, clothing, live music and access to VA experts who can advise on medical, employment and legal matters. 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 and by appointment at the Bayview American Legion, 14096 Highway 525 in Langley. Appointments are suggested but not necessary. Contact: or 360331-8081. WVRC veteran services include: n Peer support groups n Benefit application assistance n Veterans swim free program n Annual Stand Down event n Help accessing discharge documents n Emergency and housing providers on site n Agency referral


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Veterans Resource Guide 2018

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Disabled American Veterans The Disabled American Veterans Chapter 47 in Oak Harbor is committed to serving its island veterans. This nonprofit does more than just provide rides for veterans. It also helps veterans file VA disability claims and on occasion will even make house calls to do so, according to Steve Deavilla, the Chapter commander. The DAV receives no federal money, helps veterans with their disability caused by military service and also assists their families as well. The chapter’s service officers are trained in giving assistance. In fact, it is a requirement the CSO’s have some

Chapter Services

kind of disability rating as well so they know what they are talking about when it comes to dealing with the VA. They have been there and done that themselves. One of the biggest advantages the DAV offers are the rides to and from the VA Hospital in Seattle. The DAV van service has multiple pickup locations along the I-5 Corridor. "CSO's with their combined experience in years here at the DAV total in approximately 75-80 years of CSO Service, said Don Dubois, a chapter service officer. “On occasion CSO's will go out of their way and make house calls

This program is geared to assist the Veteran — Retired or Separated from active duty. Documents required to file a Disability Claim: n Complete copy of Military Medical Record (Be sure you also have your own personal copy of your medical record to keep) n Copy of marriage certificate n If divorced, copy of divorce decree or dissolution of marriage n Copy of children's birth certificates n Social Security Numbers of spouse and dependent children n (Initial claims only) Certified copy of DD-214 (member-4 copy) nVA forms 21-526 and 21-22 (provided by TSO on day of appointment or available for download below)


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Veterans Resource Guide 2018



to help veterans complete their claim.� Deavilla said drivers can choose the days they can and want to drive and service officers receive free training. The DAV is open 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and 12-4 p.m. Friday. Veterans and dependents are seen as walkin's only and no appointment is needed. Due to the first come first serve nature of service, the DAV says it is a good idea to make a call to make sure a service officer is available that day since they are volunteers and sometimes need to leave early. The DAV is currently located at 260 W Pioneer Way on the Seaplane Base in Oak Harbor. You will need a picture ID to enter the base. They can be reached at 360-257-4801.

Island County Veterans Services Island County Veterans Services provides emergency financial assistance, case management and other supportive services to indigent veterans and their dependents. Financial assistance may consist of paying for rent or mortgage, utility bills that may be in arrears or at risk of being shutoff. The office provides vouchers for food, fuel, work specific clothing and/or school clothing and supplies for dependent children. It also provides assistance with Department of Veterans Affairs claims for compensation, pension, health care and all other VA claims. To qualify for financial assistance the veteran must: n Have served under Honorable

Fore more information, go to fortressmedia/dav/index.htm

Oak Harbor The helpful place.

County Survey

Island County is collecting information to have a better idea of the status and needs of Island County Veterans. This will provide information as it works to build a network of assistance and camaraderie to support veterans of all ages and eras of service.

or General under Honorable Conditions. n Show an original or certified copy of a DD-214 or, if discharged prior to 1950, a Certificate of Discharge. n Have been a continual resident of Washington state for one year immediately prior to application and a resident of Island County at time of application. n Be able to provide proof of their identity and documentation of eligibility of dependents n Be indigent or have income at 150 percent of poverty level. Contact Dana Sawyers, the coordinator for Veterans Services, at 360-678-7805 or email

All information is secure and confidential. No information is shared outside the survey and is kept under lock and key. To take the survey, go to www. veterans.aspx










WE SUPPORT those who defend our freedom. W -Times News HIDBEY

Veterans Resource Guide 2018

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Whidbey Island Clubs and 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, as a memorial to those who flew it. Quarterly meetings at Flyers Restaurant. American Legion: Provides services to local veterans and their families and to the community. Two posts on Whidbey: Post 129, Oak Harbor, 360-675-2411, and Post 141, Langley, 360-321-5696.

Disabled American Veterans: Chapter 47: A nonprofit organization that provides needed assistance to active duty, retired, disabled veterans, veterans and their families, spouses and widows; chapter services officers available five days of the week. Walk-ins are welcome, no appointments necessary, at the Seaplane Base. 360-257-4801. Ladies Auxiliary Fleet Reserve Association: Unit 97 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. 360675-3414.

The Whidbey Island Chapter of the Military Officers Association of America (WICMOAA): The local affiliate of MOAA, which is open to all 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. 360-678-0983. 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. 360-720-8398 or Navy Wives Club Whidbey Island No. 150: Chapter of the national organization that works to promote friendly, sympathetic relationships among spouses of enlisted personnel of the United Sea Services. Fosters fellowship among its CONTINUED ON PAGE 6

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Veterans Resource Guide 2018

Whidbey Island Clubs and Organizations CONTINUED FROM PAGE 5

members and the community. Meets the first Tuesday of every month in Building 22 on the Seaplane Base. 360-3201954. PBY Memorial Foundation: Seeks to preserve the history of the PBY Catalina, which flew from the Seaplane Base in the 1940s, as well as other sea and land aircraft operating out of Whidbey Island. Displays Oak Harbor, Navy and other services memorabilia from World War II up to the present. Displays a PBY aircraft that actually flew from NAS Whidbey Island. 360-240-9500 or 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. VFW Auxiliary: Provides Veteran and family support through community service, youth activities, and legislation while promoting patriotism and remembering our heroes. 360-675-4048.

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VFW Post 7392: Promotes civic responsibility, patriotism, supports youth scholarships and local programs, educational opportunities, and accredited service officers that work with VA benefits. 360-675-4048. Whidbey Veterans Resource Center: Dedicated to serving veterans and their families. Programs include peer support groups, a summer sailing program and the annual Stand Down event. Services include assistance with benefit applications, on site and agency referrals, and help accessing discharge documents, emergency and housing providers. The center is open 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursdays at the Bayview American Legion, 14096 Highway 525, in Langley. Appointments are suggested but not necessary. Contact: or 360-331-8081. Brothers-In-Arms Motorcycle Club - Puget Sound: This all veteran motorcycle club is dedicated to helping give back to the local community, and all those who have served past and present. For more information on the BIAMC log on to

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P. O. Box 1200 • Coupeville, WA 98239 • 1-360-675-6611 •

Veterans Resource Guide 2018

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Four things to know when buying a home If you’re a veteran, reservist or active duty service member, it’s important to know that there are special benefits you may be eligible for when buying a home. “Veterans and service members have earned the opportunity to become homeowners, and it’s crucial that they are wellinformed about the benefits and options available to them,” says Greg Murray, a military mortgage program manager, who is also a U.S. Navy veteran. To help, Murray has identified the top four things to know when buying a home. n There are special financial education resources designed for military personnel and veterans.

Take advantage of these free online resources so you can be a savvier home shopper. For example, some banks offer courses on topics like banking basics and smart spending, also contains a comprehensive guide on home-buying. n Before assuming you won’t qualify for a loan, talk to a lender. Be sure to tell the lender that you have served or are currently serving in the military. They can inform you about the options available to you, such as a Veteran’s Administration (VA) loan. A VA loan is a home loan guaranteed by the federal government, designed to help those who’ve served in the

military obtain homeownership. They can sometimes be obtained with zero down payment. Gifts or grants can be used to help cover down payment and closing costs, subject to program requirements, and no mortgage insurance is required. n A large portion of qualified buyers aren’t taking advantage of the low-to-no-down-payment mortgage options available through VA loans. Indeed, more than 21 million veterans and service members live in the U.S., however, over the past five years, a mere 6 percent of them bought a home using a VA home loan, according to the Department of CONTINUED ON PAGE 8

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Veterans Affairs. This may be due to the common myth that active duty service members, National Guard members and reservists are not eligible for VA loans (in fact, they may be eligible). Many also are unaware that unmarried, surviving spouses of veterans who died as a result of service or service-related causes are also eligible. n Individual banks, not the Department of Veterans Affairs, offer VA loans, allowing you to work with a lender who understands your needs and makes you feel comfortable. A specialized team member who understands unique military needs, such as a bank military lending specialist, can help you make the most of the home loan benefits you’ve earned,” says Murray. Developing a relationship with this lender is also a good idea, as you may later choose to refinance through the VA Interest Rate Reduction Refinance Loan (IRRRL) program. If homeownership seems daunting, remember that taking advantage of VA benefits can make it more financially and logistically viable. (StatePoint)

Veterans Resource Guide 2018

New treatments for PTSD When U.S. servicemen and women return from war, they often return home plagued by anxiety, depression and sometimes Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, a disorder that develops in some people who have experienced shocking, frightening or dangerous events. And while the number of affected veterans is high, emerging treatments are improving their chances for recovery. According to the Department of Veterans Affairs, PTSD afflicts up to one in five from Iraq and Afghanistan in a given year, and as many as one in three veterans from earlier conflicts, like Vietnam, during their lifetimes. As of 2013, roughly 400,000 veterans affiliated with the VA carried this diagnosis. These figures suggest that psychological trauma is a staggering burden on active-duty troops, veterans and society. “Returning home and resuming normal life can be a challenge for any service member. But for someone suffering from PTSD, it can be a crisis,” says Captain Keith Stuessi, M.D., a former Navy doctor and member of the board of Help Heal Veterans, the nation’ largest provider of free therapeutic arts-andcraft kits to U.S. veterans and active duty military personnel. Because the science of PTSD was not well understood until recently, past treatments varied from heavy drugs to hospitalization to simply telling patients to forget about their experiences. But today, clinicians increasingly believe it’s important

to employ emerging therapies along with psychotherapy and medication in a holistic treatment approach. n Mindfulness. According to a new study, adding mindfulness to traditional therapy could be beneficial for soldiers with PTSD. Mindfulness means focusing attention on sensory perceptions and bodily sensations and includes meditation, yoga, breathing exercises and tai-chi. Mindfulness has been shown to decrease heart rate and blood pressure. n Art therapy. When someone expresses feelings through art, the mind can begin to let go of trauma by transferring images and ideas to another object of the patient’s creation. Art therapy can help veterans communicate memories, relieve stress and reduce symptoms of trauma-related disorders. n Craft Therapy. Craft therapy has been proven to be an extremely effective PTSD treatment, and ample evidence suggests it has a positive overall impact on brain function. Foremost, craft therapy helps vets take their minds off events that may have led to their illness. Engaging in craft activities has been shown to address cognitive, neurological and sensory-motor needs by targeting performance skills. It has been shown to help promote the use of right- and left-brain functioning and help maintain cognitive functioning. More information about craft therapy can be found at (StatePoint)

Veterans - Veterans Resource Guide  
Veterans - Veterans Resource Guide