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35 cents


FRIDAY, JUNE 7, 2013

Thank you

Mitch Kloorfain/chief photographer Mayce DelValle of Treasure Coast Hospice pins veteran Henry Sampson with a keepsake thanking him for his service before viewing ‘Honor Flight – The Movie’ at the Hospice community room in Stuart Tuesday, May 21.

Hospice moves up in veterans programs FOR VETERAN VOICE

Treasure Coast Hospice has achieved the Level 2 designation in the We Honor Veterans partnership.

We Honor Veterans is a program of the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization in collaboration with the Department of Veterans Affairs. Trea-

See HOSPICE page 4

Pending Periodicals Postage Paid at Ft Pierce, FL


anD our obJeCtIVe

Veteran Voice is a weekly publication designed to provide information to and about veterans to veterans and to the broader community. Veterans are an integral part of their Florida communities, which currently have individual organizations of their own, such as the Veterans of Foreign Wars, the American Legion, the Vietnam Veterans of America and many other groups with a narrow focus, but no convenient way to connect to a wider population of veterans and to the community in general within a limited geographic area, their community. The mission of Veteran Voice is to publish a weekly source of information that will provide, in one place, a listing of resources available to veterans, articles about changes in policies or organizations affecting veterans and events of interest to veterans as well as articles about veterans of interest to the general public. Veteran Voice LLC is organized as a partnership of experienced newspaper executives with an interest in veterans and in the communities of Florida veterans and friends. Veteran Voice is a start-up intended to address a perceived lack of information readily available to veterans on programs and policies affecting them and objective reporting of veteran affairs to the public. To our knowledge, and based on comments from leaders of local veterans organizations, there was no media or website currently meeting this need until the launch of Veteran Voice. We hope you agree, and will support this publication with your subscription. Without subscriptions there will be a limited number of people we can help, without which this mission will not be realized. As part of our commitment to supporting local veteran communities, we will donate 10 percent of our profits each quarter to qualified veteran charities recommended by you, our readers and subscribers. Please let us know what you think by emailing or mailing your comments to us at 1919 S.W. South Macedo Blvd., Port St. Lucie, FL 34984.

County Veterans Service Officers St. Lucie County, Donna Carlsen Phone: (772) 337-5670 Fax: (772) 337-5678 Dorothy J. Conrad Building (formerly the Walton Road Annex Bldg.) 1664 S.E. Walton Road, Suite 205 Port St. Lucie, FL 34952 By appointment Mon., Tues, Thurs, Fri * 8:30 am-4:30 pm Wed * 8:30 a.m.-3 p.m. St. Lucie County Community Services Bldg. (Corner of Avenue D and 7th Street) 437 N. Seventh St., Fort Pierce, FL 34950 Walk-ins Mon. and Fri. * 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Brevard Veteran’s Services Office 2725 Judge Fran Jamieson Way, Bldg. B, Suite 102, Viera, FL 32940 Office: (321) 633-2012 Fax: (321) 637-5432 Mon., Tues. and Thurs., 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Wed. and Fri, 8 a.m.-noon Manager: Glenn McGuffie Indian River County Joel Herman Vero Beach 2525 St. Lucie Ave., Vero Beach, FL 32960 Ph: (772) 226-1499 Fax: (772) 770-5038 Sebastian Square 11602 U.S. 1, Sebastian, FL 32958 Ph: (772) 589-6597 Fax: (772) 581-4988

Veteran Voice The Voice of Experience

Veteran Voice is a weekly newspaper for veterans, active military, their families and their friends.

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Martin County Tony Reese, Veterans Service Office Supervisor Nick Ciotti, Veterans Service Officer (772) 288-5448 Veterans Services Office Martin County Community Services 435 S.E. Flagler Ave., Stuart, FL 34994 Office Hours: Mon-Fri, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. VA Life Insurance Ctr., Phil., PA 1-800-669-8477 VA Regional Office - 1-800-827-1000 VA Medical Ctr, W. Palm Beach 1-800-972-8262 Pharmacy, VA Medical Center 1-800-317-8387 Military Retired Pay Activities, Cleveland, OH - (Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force ONLY) 1-800-321-1080 Military Retired Pay Activities, Topeka, KS - (Coast Guard ONLY) 1-800-772-8724 Survivor Benefits (SBP), Denver, CO - 1-800-435-3396 Stuart VA Clinic - (772) 288-0304 Okeechobee County Veterans Services office (863) 763-6441, Ext 5. Fax: (863) 763-0118. Orlando VA Medical Cente 5201 Raymond St., Orlando, FL 32803 (407) 629-1599 or (800) 922-7521 Telephone Care (407) 599-1404 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Mon. - Fri. (800) 645-6895 8 a.m. - 4 p.m. Mon - Fri (321) 637-3625

West Palm Beach Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center 7305 North Military Trail, West Palm Beach, FL 33410 (561) 422-8262 or (800) 972-8262 Telephone Care (561) 422-6838 (866) 383-9036 Open 24 hours - 7 days Viera VA Outpatient Clinic 2900 Veterans Way, Viera, FL 32940 Phone: (321) 637-3788 1 (877) 878-8387 Mon. - Fri. - 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. St Lucie County PTSD Clinical Team (PCT) Outpatient Program 126 S.W. Chamber Court, Port St Lucie, FL 34986 Phone: (772) 878-7876 Fort Pierce Community Based Outpatient Clinic 727 North U.S. 1, Fort Pierce, FL 34950 Phone: (772) 595-5150 Fax: (772) 595-6560 St Lucie Community Based Outpatient Clinic 128 S.W. Chamber Court, Port Saint Lucie, FL 34986 Phone: (772) 344-9288 Stuart Community Based Outpatient Clinic 3501 S E Willoughby Boulevard, Stuart, FL 34997 Phone: (772) 288-0304 Fax: (772) 288-1371 Vero Beach Community Based Outpatient Clinic 372 17th St., Vero Beach, FL 32960 Phone: (772) 299-4623 Fax: (772) 299-4632

Viera patients 8 a.m. - 4 p.m. Mon. - Fri. (877) 741-3400 Weekends, holidays, evenings and nights

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Lola Bean, beloved pet of Veteran Voice advertising consultant Debbi Denning, stands at attention waiting to greet World War II veterans returning home from their Honor Flight to Washington, D.C., Saturday, May 25. The flight was sponsored by Southeast Florida Honor Flight, part of a national program to fly WWII vets to see the WWII memorial erected in their honor in the nation’s capital. Palm City residents Denning and Lola were out with Denning’s mother, Donna Greer, and her aunt, Marti Dupree, both of Stuart, waited at the corner of Kanner Highway and Cove Road to wave at the returning vets. Denning’s 92-year-old grandfather, Don Regn, served in the Navy during World War II.


Four-legged patriot

Property managed by Inland Diversified Real Estate Services LLC The Inland name and logo are registered trademarks being used under license.


Staff photo by Debbi Denning


Event a success for local veterans FOR VETERAN VOICE

Fun Tours Travel is cruising toward its second annual Travel for the Troops event in the wake of a successful inaugural fund-raiser that netted $12,000 for a special veterans fund at House of Hope. Travel for the Troops will return on Jan. 24, 2014, to the Palm Room at Harbour Bay Plaza, Sewall’s Point. The “fun-raiser” is the brainchild of Fun Tours Travel owner Kathleen Padova and travel consultant Elaine Hirsch. They wanted to create their own event and help local people who have served their country and are now in need. Although veterans have always been among the people helped by House of Hope, this is the first time that the agency has established a specific fund for members of the military and their families – as requested by the donors. Like House of Hope’s overall financial assistance program, the Veterans Fund covers such costs as rent, utilities and medicine. House of Hope is also coordinating with the Martin County Veterans Services Office to share

See TRAVEL page 11

Photo courtesy of Diane Tomasik From left: Kathleen Padova, owner of Fun Tours Travel; Elizabeth Barbella, CEO of House of Hope, Elaine Hirsch, travel consultant; and Diane Tomasik, House of Hope communications director.

veteran voice The Voice of Experience

Veteran Voice is a newspaper for veterans, active military, their families and their friends. We are published weekly by Veteran Voice, LLC. 1919 SW South Macedo Blvd., Port St. Lucie, FL 34984 (772) 204-2409 Office • (772) 204-2940 Fax

SUBSCRIBE TODAY $18 YEAR (52 weeks) $12 Veterans or Active Military

Theodore Wilson Publisher Steve Erlanger Partner Phil Galdys Director of Operations Debbi Denning Advertising Consultant Kelly Delprete Advertising Consultant Eric Macon Graphic Designer Tammy Raits Managing Editor Mitch Kloorfain Chief Photographer

For more information on distribution and subscriptions of this newspaper, please call our main office (772) 204-2409

Nicole Rodriguez Staff Writer

or contact us by email at:

Donna Marinak HR/Accounting Manager

Shelley Koppel Staff Writer

Periodicals Postage (Pending Permit) Paid at Ft Pierce, FL POSTMASTER: send address changes to: Veteran Voice, 1919 SW South Macedo Blvd, Port St Lucie, FL 34984

HOSPICE from page 1

“As an organization, Treasure Coast Hospice is focused on building partnerships in the community. Adding this level of partnership with We Honor Veterans shows we are moving in the right direction,” said Lori Posdal, director of community relations.

sure Coast Hospice first attained Level 1 in April 2011, recognizing that veterans and their families have special needs that other patients don’t often face. The Level 2 designation reflects Treasure Coast Hospice’s commitment to ensuring veterans have access to quality end-of-life care. The Level 2 designation will help Treasure Coast Hospice partner with other organizations in the community to improve care for veterans, enabling the organization to extend its reach within the community and tell more people about Treasure Coast Hospice services. “As an organization, Treasure Coast Hospice is focused on building partnerships in the community. Adding this level of partnership with We Honor Veterans shows we are moving in the right direction,” said Lori Posdal, director of community relations. Treasure Coast Hospice is a nonprofit community organization of caring professionals and dedicated volunteers whose mission is to provide compassionate, comprehensive, high-quality care for patients and those who share their lives in St. Lucie, Martin and Okeechobee counties. Services, including respite care, counseling and bereavement services, are available to anyone regardless of their ability to pay.

Radio show caters to vets Patrick McCallister For Veteran voice

Keeping veterans in the know is what American Warrior Radio is all about. “It’s an effort to dispel myths, get good information out there, and be entertaining,” Air Force veteran Garren Cone, co-host and founder, said. The radio talk show is on Cocoa’s AM 1300, WMEL, on Saturdays, 11 a.m. to noon. It started in 2010. “We grew from a half-hour program,” Cone said. The show is broadcast internationally on the station’s website, Cone said callers come from all over the United States. “From Oregon to Indiana, from Maine, Florida,” He said. “It’s a viral thing. We’ve got warriors over in Afghanistan listening to it every Saturday. It’s amazing.” And the talk show is likely to grow more, according to the radio station’s owner, Vietnam-era Air Force vet John Harper. “The possibilities are there for all of the above, from expanding the number of hours to going nationwide,” he said. “We’ve had discussions with some networks about syndicating American Warrior Radio.” Cone does the weekly show with

co-host Glenn McGuffie, supervisor of Brevard County’s veterans service office. His wife, Kim, is the producer and Vince Young is the show’s engineer. “Nobody is getting paid here,” Cone said. “The station is owned by two Vietnam vets and they give us time as a public service.” In addition to the live radio broadcasts, the show is archived at the radio station’s website. “Of course, we have the Facebook page,” Cone said. “We videotape each episode. We place them on YouTube, as well as the Facebook page.” The YouTube page is at youtube. com/user/TheAVETProject. The Cones also head up the American Veterans Empowerment Team, AVET Project. Among its projects are sending service members in Operation Enduring Freedom its Empowerment Equipment Box. The boxes have many of the usual offerings care-package groups include, such as toiletries, socks and snacks. However, the AVET Project boxes head to Afghanistan with something most don’t include in theirs: relaxation and meditation CDs, and instructions on how to keep good notes that could come in handy some day. “We teach (service members) how to journal, which will ground

See RADIO page 7

Pancakes and VA Seminar in Honor of Flag Day Join The Brennity at Port St. Lucie on Flag Day as we celebrate with pancakes and a Veterans Aid and Attendance presentation! Learn about your pension benefits, know what is available, how to qualify and help with assistance. Michael Fowler, Attorney at Law, will be on site with all the details. The ROTC will also visit our community and pay respect to the flag.

Friday, June 14 8:30 a.m. For BreakFast 9:15 a.m. For seminar RSVP to (772) 345-2709

10685 SW Stony Creek Way Port St. Lucie, FL 34987


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VA hires more than 1,600 mental health professionals


Move made to meet goal, expand access to care and outreach efforts and direct nationwide community mental health summits

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WASHINGTON — On June 3, the Department of Veterans Affairs announced that it has met the goal to hire 1,600 new mental health professionals outlined in President Obama’s Aug. 31, 2012, “Executive Order to Improve Access to Mental Health Services for Veterans, Service Members, and Military Families.”    “Meeting this hiring milestone significantly enhances our ability to improve access to care for those veterans seeking mental health services and demonstrates our continued commitment to the health and well-being of the men and women who have served the

As of May 31, VA has hired a total of 1,607 mental health clinical providers to meet the goal of 1,600 new mental health professionals outlined in President Obama’s Executive Order. Nation,” said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki. “Meeting this goal is an important achievement, but we recognize that we must continue to increase access to the quality mental health care

veterans have earned and deserve.” As of May 31, VA has hired a total of 1,607 mental health clinical

See HEALTH page 7

Sunday, June 9th 2013 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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-Real Estate Industry Exhibitors -Speakers & Staff on hand: Realtors, Lenders, Builders, Inspectors, City Building and Code Departments, Property Appraisers offices, Chambers of Commerce, etc. -Get Pre-Approved for mortgages -Refreshments, Giveaways -and much MORE…

Volunteer of the Year: Veronica montoya “The Coffee Lady” Gano Life Ambassador of the Year: peter Wernick, Peter’s Hardware / Peter’s Paint Center Business of the Year: Advantage HR, Barrie Brown Business person of the Year: mike Searle, Searle & Associates Insurance Beautification Award Stuart Shooting Center, Inc., Jamie & Debbie Redditt

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HEALTH from page 6

RADIO from page 5 their claims with the (Department of Veterans Affairs) if an injury becomes a disability,” Cone said. “When the VA says, ‘Where’s the information?’ they can go to their journals.” The AVET Project is working with Representative Bill Posey’s office to get legislation passed that would eliminate the cost of sending service members care packages. For more about the AVET Project, visit

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providers to meet the goal of 1,600 new mental health professionals outlined in the Executive Order. Additionally, VA has hired 2,005 mental health clinical providers to fill existing vacancies. VA has also hired 318 new peer specialists towards the specific goal of 800 peer specialists by Dec. 31, as outlined in the Executive Order. VA expects to meet that goal as well. VA also recognizes that meeting the needs of veterans and their families requires collaboration and partnership between VA, other federal agencies, and local communities. “Locally-driven summits provide a well-established method to strengthen our community partnerships, and they have been use of innovative technology to successful in support of VA’s serve veterans in rural or undergoal to end homelessness among served areas. VA expects to double Veterans,” said Veterans Health the number of veterans receiving Administration, Undersecretary care from tele-mental health serfor Health, Dr. Robert Petzel.  vices to more than 800,000 in fis“The president is directing all VA cal year 2013, and has increased health care systems nationwide the number of Vet Centers, which to conduct locally-driven Mental provide readjustment counseling Health Summits to further engage and referral services from 233 in with local community partners 2008 to 300 in 2012. and nurture community engageIn November 2011, VA launched ment to address the broad mental an award-winning, national public health needs of veterans and their awareness campaign called “Make families.” the Connection,” which is aimed  Each VA health care system will at reducing the stigma associated reach out to relevant veteran ser- with seeking mental health care vice organizations, community and informing veterans, their fambased organizations, health care ilies, friends, and members of their providers, and local governments communities about VA resourcto develop and conduct the Sum- es. More information on Make the mits. Connection can be found at www. VA provides a full range of com- prehensive mental health services Mental health professionals inacross the country.  In Fiscal Year terested in seeking employment 2012, more than 1.3 million vet- with the Department of Veterans erans received specialized men- Affairs can obtain information at tal health care from the VA. This Veterans number has risen each year from and their families interested in 927,052 in fiscal year 2006. In ad- learning more about the mental dition to hiring more mental health health services provided by VA can professionals, VA is expanding the go to

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on the streets and in the nation’s shelter system will soon find a permanent place to call home. U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan and U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric K. Shinseki announced last week that HUD will provide $60 million to local public housing agencies across the country to offer permanent supportive housing to homeless veterans, many of whom are living with chronic disabling conditions. The supportive housing assistance announced today is provided through the HUD-Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing Program, which combines rental assistance from HUD with case management and clinical services provided by VA. Since 2008, a total of 48,385 vouchers have been awarded and 42,557 formerly homeless veterans are currently in homes because of HUD-VASH. Donovan and Shinseki announced this additional support for homeless veterans in an address to the National Coalition of Homeless Veterans conference today in Washington. Find out how much of this assistance will help homeless veterans in your area. “It’s a national tragedy that

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uniform can end up living in our shelters or on our streets,” said Donovan. “Today we make another investment in meeting President Obama’s challenge that we end veteran homelessness once and for all.” “These HUD-VASH vouchers are a critical resource to accomplish our shared goal of ending veterans’ homelessness in 2015,” Shinseki said. “With the continued support of President Obama, Congress, and our community partners, we will end homelessness among veterans and provide these brave men and women with the earned care and benefits that help them live productive, meaningful lives.” HUD-VASH is a critical part of the Obama Administration’s commitment to end Veteran and long-term chronic homelessness in 2015. Opening Doors: Federal Strategic Plan to Prevent and End Homelessness serves as a roadmap for how the federal government will work with state and local communities to confront the root causes of homelessness, especially among former servicemen and women. HUD’s annual “point in time” estimate of the number of homeless persons and families for 2012 found that Veteran homelessness fell by 7.2 percent (or 4,876 people) since January 2011 and by 17.2 percent since January 2009. On a single night in January 2012, 62,619 veter-

See HOMES page 10


Father & Child Connection helps veterans turn military training into good parenting Staff writer

When Port St. Lucie’s Fidel Small noticed that his sons and he were developing emotional distance, the soldier went on a mission. “The military did help me with that,” he said. “I’ve been (in the Army) eight years; I’m in a leadership position. If there’s a problem, I’m going to fix it. That’s one thing the military did give me.” Small’s personal mission to become a better father took him to and through the Father & Child Connection Program run by the Early Learning Coalition of St. Lucie County. He still regularly talks with Eric Seibenick, program specialist. “We’re a parenting program, but we’re much more than that,” Seibenick said. “We’re a mentoring program bringing out the best in fathers.” Hammers that drive nails can also smash thumbs. Seibenick said all experiences give parents tools to foster good relationships with their children. Including military experience. However, all experiences can also have negative effects on one’s parenting, including, of course, the military. Whether a parent’s military experience helps or hurts his or her parenting is usually a matter of how it’s applied. The parent-training program has about 40 to 50 participants at any time. Most are involved voluntarily. A few have been court-ordered to attend the program’s classes, and others are referred by the Department of Children and Families. Seibenick said a number of veterans seek-

ing to better relationships with their children enter the program. Navy veteran Jon Hodder was one. A marital separation made him a single father without another parent in the home to temper his hard edges. Hodder realized that he was expecting a kind of military discipline from his sons, 5 and 9, and wanted to change that. But how? He learned about the program when seeking legal help, and immediately got into it. “It’s helping me pretty good,” he said. “It gives you a lot of information. It gives you ideas of how to interact with your children.” Seibenick said overemphasis on discipline is a common trait among parenting veterans. “I think there’re many a fine structures and features that work very well in the military,” he said. “But in civilian and home life, we’re not up to speed. We have not gone through boot camp. There is some pushback.” Small said he, too, noticed that at times he was expecting his two 8-year-olds to act with military precision. Thing is, he was getting that precision from his sons. “Just like my soldiers, what I’d say they’d do right away,” he said. But, Small felt that emotional distance he wanted to close, so he started seeking out help — another quality he learned from the military. “It’s not weakness getting help; that’s strength,” he said. Seibenick said a sense of mission is a parenting strength among veterans. “They’re doers,” he said. “They’re get-it-done kind of folks. They’re active instead of being a slug.” There’s another positive quality

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the military teaches parent and future parents, Hodder said. “It made me more organized,” he said. “I used to be a slob. I pass it on to my own boys, so when they get their own house it’s not a pigsty.” The Father & Child Connection Program is helping Hodder know how best to use and pass on that quality the Navy taught him to

his children with individual and group meetings. “We fathers are building tomorrow’s men,” Seibenick said. “There’s no greater honor. No greater challenge than building good men. We’re here to help.” The program is free to St. Lucie County residents. For more information, visit

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ans were homeless. The grants announced today are part of $75 million appropriated this year to support the housing needs of homeless veterans. Local public housing authorities provide rental assistance to homeless veterans while nearby VA Medical Centers offer supportive services and case management. This is the first round of the 2013 HUD-VASH funding. HUD expects to announce more HUD-VASH funding this summer. VAMCs work closely with homeless veterans then refer them to public housing agencies for these vouchers, based upon a variety of factors, most importantly the

duration of the homelessness and the need for longer term more intensive support to obtain and maintain permanent housing. The HUD-VASH program includes both the rental assistance the voucher provides and the comprehensive case management that VAMC staff provides. Veterans participating in the HUD-VASH program rent privately owned housing and generally contribute no more than 30 percent of their income toward rent. VA offers eligible homeless veterans clinical and supportive services through its medical centers across the U.S., Guam and Puerto Rico.



HOMES from page 8


TRAVEL from page 4 referrals and unify the application form to best serve people seeking assistance. The first Travel for the Troops event was held Feb. 7, 2013, and offered attendees the chance to shop for travel deals from about 20 cruise lines and tour operators. Renato’s, The Prawnbroker, Importico Bakery and Polka European Market & Deli provided an abundance of food. Renato’s also supplied wine and gift baskets for

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Veteran 6 7 2013  

Hospice moves up in veterans programs, Four-legged patriot, Event a success for local veterans, Radio show caters to vets, VA hires more tha...