Forward Observer: VA Veteran ID Card Available — Trying to Get It Right the Second Time Around

February 18, 2018

LVMAC Poster Art 2005According to a 12 February post on the VA’s VAntage Point blogsite, the VA Veteran ID card (VIC) is available for registration once again.  Previously the VA ID card was on hold due to a “high volume of traffic” according to the Department of Veterans Affairs. Read the rest of this entry »

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Forward Observer: VA’s RAMP Is Bad News – Do Not File a Claim This Way!

February 9, 2018

LVMAC Poster Art 2005On 29 January 2018, the Ms. Kelsey Yoon, the national director for the Veterans Benefits Program (VBP) of the Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA), wrote the state councils of her organization to provide general guidance on the Rapid Appeals Modernization Program (RAMP) put in place by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) as one of the means to produce faster turnaround times for compensation claims, thereby reducing the backlog continuing to plague the VA.  The letter was disturbing, and we believe it important to spread word of its contents to a wider audience, since it may affect you or one of your loved ones.  The following is an extracted from her letter: Read the rest of this entry »


Forward Observer — Victory House Seeks Community Foundation Grant Also

November 4, 2017

LVMAC Poster Art 2005You may find this strange at a time when we are also seeking a Lehigh Valley Community Foundation Grant,  but we wish you to know that Victory House does exceptionally fine service for our veterans who need extra help in getting back on track.  They are a valued partner in our homelessness initiative.

Indeed, except for CACLV, all the finalists for a Lehigh Valley Community Foundation grant are member organizations in LVMAC.  We support or form efforts addressing a range of needs that define a supportive community.  Our membership reflects the gamut of our interests.  Therefore, we do not like the appearance of competing with our member partners, for this is not our intent.  For us, at this time, it is more about promoting a good effort on the part of  the Lehigh Valley Community Foundation to become engaged in assisting our military and veterans community.  Accordingly, we openly publish this request from Victory House: Read the rest of this entry »


Forward Observer — LVHN’s MAVRIC Opens on 10 November

October 17, 2017

LVMAC Poster Art 2005Yet another glitzy and confusing acronym has appeared on the veterans scene:  MAVRIC, which stands for “Military and Veterans Information/Resource Center.”  But as our combat buddy, Bill Shakespeare, once said, “What’s in a name?  that which we call a rose … By any other word would smell as sweet …”  And, indeed,  this one smells sweet.  To fanfare Read the rest of this entry »


Forward Observer — Resolving the Suicide Issue: The Obvious Brings Its Own Complications

May 2, 2017

Veterans At Risk Of Suicide Negotiate A Thorny Relationship With Guns, NPR Reports

LVMAC Poster Art 2005Two key points are raised in the article which follows that affect the results, and work against what would seem to be common sense:

1) There is a question as to if the VA is really following a due or, at least, a fair process.  We know of a veteran who was not properly informed of the proceedings against him.  In addition, the VA, according to this article, is probably violating his/her Second Amendment rights, while trying to do the right thing.

2) Fear of being branded as mentally incompetent, may cause affected veterans not to access the benefits they’ve earned, including access to health care for conditions related to their military service.  When a veteran is most fragile, he/she may be effectively driven away.  Why is the term “mental incompetence” used in all instances in the first place? Read the rest of this entry »


Forward Observer — President Trump signs S. 544, The Veterans Choice Program Extension and Improvement Act

April 20, 2017

Click on image for the Military.com article

LVMAC Poster Art 2005Yesterday, the President signed Senate Bill 544 into law.  It extended and amended the Veterans Access, Choice, and Accountability Act of 2014.  Otherwise, the controversial Veterans Choice (Card) Program would have expired in August, although $1 billion of the original $10 billion remained in the account and the number of veterans enrolled in the VA healthcare system using  private care, under VA direction, had risen from approximately 10 to 33 percent.   Essentially, the bill was a no-brain’er, as no doubt the good senator from Montana, Jon Tester (D), would himself admit.  It was not a remarkable feat on the part of the Congress or the President — or the VA. Read the rest of this entry »


Forward Observer — VA finally establishes presumptive condition rules for exposure to contaminants in water supply at Camp Lejeune and other Marine Corps locations

March 17, 2017

VA to provide disability benefits for related diseases

LVMAC Poster Art 2005On 14 March 2017, the Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) proposed regulations to establish presumptions for the service connection for eight diseases associated with exposure to contaminants in the water supply at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina became effective.  On September 9, 2016, VA had published in the Federal Register (81 FR 62419) a notice of a proposal to amend 38 CFR 3.307 and 3.309.  The Congress did not intervene. Read the rest of this entry »


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