THE SANDAL was written by our very own Bob Burfitt. Bob, who is a member of the Strawberry Ridge Veterans Club, is retired and has lived in the Ridge with his wife, Judy, for many years. Retirement is not a word that is in Bob's vocabulary though. He's been very active in so many organizations here at the Ridge and is currently the Editor of our monthly Strawberry Toppings. Thank you, Bob, for all your contributions to the Ridge.
MAKE YOUR BED by William H. McRaven is another good read. Admiral McRaven was a Navy SEAL and was Commander of USSOCOM at MacDill AFB prior to his retirement in 2014. He is now the Chancellor at University of Texas where he gave the commencement speech in 2014. You can listen to the speech at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pxBQLFLei70.
THE DISABLED VETERAN'S STORY by Miguel Reece, USAF, MSC Retired is another book you should read. He will present a workshop here on August 3 at the Activity Center. This event is sponsored by the Ladies Auxiliary to the Veterans Club.
All of the books are available at Amazon, and THE SANDAL is also available at the Strawberry Ridge Lending Library.
Veterans, please consider volunteering your time with the Veterans Treatment Court as a Mentor. This is a worthwhile program that helps our Veterans when they need us the most. For additional information please contact Colonel DJ Reyes at firstname.lastname@example.org
our mentor force:
- All volunteers
- Male and female, E5 to O6, Army/Navy/Air Force/Marines, 5 years to +33 years of military service, Desert Storm to Afghanistan combat tours
- Currently 41 mentors (I started the program 2 years ago as the first mentor)
- 50% are active duty senior NCOs or officers at MacDill AFB - challenge of retention due to turnover and PCS cycles
- 38% are veterans currently employed in the legal, corporate or DoD industries
- 12% are the senior veteran mentors that manage 4 Task Force teams of mentors and their assigned veterans (total of 75)
So I am always recruiting to replenish our mentor bench which doesn't stay stable, in order to keep up with a constantly increasing veteran intake load. We would graciously accept your involvement as mentors and are flexible in your degree of support. Also, please pass the word out for any potential mentors in your community! best regards, DJR
Colonel, US Army (retired)
Senior Veteran Mentor and Coordinator, 13th Judicial Circuit Veterans Treatment Court
There are more than 58,000 service members whose names are on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. The National Call for Photos is being launched to collect photos of each of them. If you have a photo to share, go to VVMF.org and click on Wall of Faces. Find the profile of the person you have the photo of and click on it. There you can upload the photo. If you prefer to mail it, send a copy of your photo to Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund, Attn: Call for Photos, 2600 Virginia Ave., NW, Suite 104, Washington, D.C. 20037. The photo should be of the highest quality with a glossy finish. Reproduce at an 8 x 10 size if possible. Fill out the photo submission form and enclose it with the photo.
Please help us fund the War Dog Memorial at Veterans Park in Tampa. It will be placed inside the Vietnam Memorial for all to enjoy. Your donation, no matter how large or how small, will be greatly appreciated. Donations can be sent to: WAR DOG MEMORIAL, VETERANS PARK MUSEUM, P. O. BOX 2403, VALRICO, FL 33595
The United States military is the greatest fighting force in the history of the world. Our soldiers are unparalleled in their skill and commitment, and our technology is also the most advanced on the planet! These future-machines are being developed to ensure American military dominance in the years to come.
You can order the ID card for $18.99 or the photo ID card for $19.99 at http://www.veteranprograms.com/id1366.html.
If you prefer to download the form and mail it in with our payment, go to http://www.veteranprograms.com/sitebuildercontent/sitebuilderfiles/cardform0001.pdf
Veterans Corner Serving Those Who Served
Mar 29, 2013, 11:18 a.m.
Many veterans or spouses may not be aware that they qualify for a pension benefit. A war-time Veteran with 90 days of active duty, with one day beginning or ending during a period of war, is eligible to apply for the Aid & Attendance Pension.
Only an estimated five percent of these potentially eligible veterans actually receive these benefits. This fact can be attributed to the complicated and frequently changing laws surrounding the rules and regulations.
If you think you might need
assistance in applying for benefits, contact your area Veterans Service:
Lake County: 1300 S. Duncan Drive, Bldg. E, Tavares, (352) 742-6585.
Marian County: 2528 E. Silver Springs Blvd., Ocala, Phone: (352) 671-8422
Pinellas County: 2189 Cleveland St., Suite 230, Clearwater, (727) 464-8460;
St Petersburg – 647 1st Ave. N., St. Petersburg, (727) 582-7828
Hillsborough County: 10119 Windhorst Rd., Tampa, (813) 246-3170
Sarasota County: 4000 Tamiami Trail S # 139, Venice, (941) 861-3047
Manatee County: 1112 Manatee Ave. W, Third Floor, Bradenton, (941) 749-3030
Charlotte County: 2280 Aaron St, Port Charlotte, (941) 764-5579
Lee County: 2440 Thompson St.,
Ft. Myers, (239) 533-8381
Need a Book to help?
Barbara Steinberg, a Registered Financial Gerontologist™ and expert on eldercare financial planning has written Crack the VA: Discover Hidden Benefits For Your Parents, a guide to finding those hidden benefits. In it you will learn:
• What benefits are available to aging Veterans and their surviving spouses
• How to determine what they are eligible for
• Which forms to complete and where to apply for benefits
• How to fill out the forms to increase your chances of success
Homeless veterans will soon be a part of a national effort to reduce homelessness among veterans. Catholic Charities Diocese of St. Petersburg, Inc., was one of 38 projects around the country to receive a grant that will be used to provide a daily average of 25 beds for homeless veterans to promote increased housing stabilization. Housing will be provided at 5726 126th Avenue North, Clearwater, FL; and 8384 Bayou Boardwalk, Largo, Fla.
The grants were awarded through a special program that gives Veterans the opportunity to take over payment of a lease instead of moving out after leaving certain VA programs, such as substance use counseling, mental health services, or job training. Usually, VA programs require veterans living in transitional housing to move out after 24 months.
Called the “Transition in Place” model, it helps close the gaps in available housing for the nation’s most vulnerable homeless veterans.
“Securing permanent housing is a vital step in the journey of our homeless veterans,” said Dr. Susan Angell, executive director for VA’s Veterans Homeless Initiative. “This is the last piece of the puzzle. It is crucial for them in continuing to lead independent lives.”
Under the program, funds go to community-based programs that provide homeless veterans with support services and housing.
Lisa Pape, national director of homeless programs for the Veterans Health Administration (VHA), which oversees VA’s Homeless Providers Grant and Per Diem Program (GPD), said on a single night in 2011, a national count of homeless veterans totaled 67,495.
To help a homeless veteran or veteran at risk of homelessness, refer them to the National Call Center for Homeless Veterans, 1-877-4AID-VET, or direct them to www.va.gov/homeless.
You may have earned college credit for military service.
Use Navy Benefits to Pay
for a Degree
Attention Navy Veteran,
Credit for service and the GI Bill can make it faster and more affordable to earn a degree. Start using military benefits by finding schools with VA-approved programs.
1. Eliminate Classes with ACE and CLEP®: some schools offer credit for service and you can test out of some classes
2. GI Bill Pays Up to $52,500: includes stipends for books and housing
These benefits can be used towards an Associate's, Bachelor's or Professional Certificate.
To find schools that participate, go to http://edu.military.com/gibill/?ESRC=121022SOL_ed_navy_v.se