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Kauai Veterans Corner: News you can use

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Posted: Monday, May 21, 2012 12:31 am

 Upcoming events

  — Memorial Day Observance: 10 a.m. - 12 p.m. May 28 at Kaua‘i Veterans Cemetery, Hanapepe

—Veterans Round-up Lunch: , 10am - 3 p.m. July 4 at Kaua‘i Veterans Center, Lihu‘e

— Veterans Day Parade: 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. Nov. 10 at Kapa‘a Ball Park

— Veterans Day Celebration: 10am - 12pm, Nov. 11 at Kaua‘i Veterans Cemetery in Hanapepe

— Veterans Christmas Party: , 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. Dec 9 at Kaua‘i Veterans Center, Lihu‘e

Welcome, Doc

Welcome Aboard to Dr. Amyn Hirani, Psy.D.: Dr. Hirani joins the Vet Center staff in providing readjustment counseling services to Kaua‘i’s veterans with PTSD and other readjustment issues after serving in areas of war and/or conflict.

He specializes in marriage/family counseling and counseling for victims of military sexual trauma.

Appointments: 246-1163

VA’s Patient Advocate

The VA Pacific Islands Healthcare System is committed to providing professional care and assistance to the nearly 200,000 veterans and their family members within the Pacific Realm.

If you have a concern, recommendation, or compliment regarding the care you received, please contact the Kauai Patient Advocate Liaison, Charlene Burgess, at 246-0497.

If you have further concerns, you may contact the Honolulu Patient Advocate’s Office at 808-433-0126 and speak with Schoen Safotu, Joanne Strohlin or Sara

Davis.

Recognition for next of kin of deceased military personnel

One Gold Star Lapel Button will be furnished, without cost, by the Department of Defense to the widow or widower and to each of the parents and the next of kin. While issuance of the Gold Star Lapel Button to the family member is automatic, anyone who is qualified and has not received a button may complete and mail the appropriate application (DD Form 3) along with proof of relationship to the service member’s service headquarters. See www.goldstarmoms.com/Join/GoldStarPin/GettingYourGoldStarPin.htm for additional information and to download the form.

The next of kin lapel Pin (Non-Combat Death) is authorized for family members — as stated above — whose loved one died while serving on active duty or while assigned to an Army Reserve or Army National Guard unit in a drill status, but under circumstances that do not qualify for the Gold Star Lapel Pin.

Families of service members who died since that date may request a one-time no-cost issue of the button by writing to the National Personnel Records Center (NPRC) in St. Louis, MO.

Request should include the name, grade, SSN, and date of death of the deceased service member, and applicants must provide their name and proof of claimed relationship.

Hawai‘i recently began issuance of a specialty license plate for Gold Star families to honor their fallen loved ones who lost their lives in combat.

To be eligible for a specialty license plate, family members/next of kin must meet the same eligibility criteria for the Gold Star Lapel Button. However, grandparents are also eligible under the Hawai‘i law, provided they show proof of relationship. Applications may be made in person at the County of Kauai Motor Vehicle Registration Office in Lihu‘e along with payment of a one-time fee of $5.50. Required documents include:

— Last issued vehicle registration,

— Copy of their DD Form 1300 indicating the service member was “Killed in Hostile Action” with the immediate family members name indicated in Block #7,

— Documentation indicating next of kin qualification (marriage, birth certificate, etc.),

— Letter from the State Office of Veterans Services, Veterans Administration, or Department of Army, Navy, Marine Corps or Air Force indicating eligibility to receive the Gold Star Lapel Button, and

—Application Form CS-L (MVR) 192.

No discharge documents, no burial benefits, no exceptions

To obtain veterans benefits from any government agency, an unaltered legible hard copy of the military discharge document(s) must be provided at the time of application. Veterans who have misplaced their discharge papers must write to the National Personnel Records Center in St. Louis to request a replacement copy.

Average processing time is four to five weeks and there is no emergency processing for deceased veterans. Therefore, veterans must act now to ensure discharge documents are located and safely stored to prevent burial delays and family hardships upon their passing.

• SgtMaj Tony Elliott USMC (Ret) is a member of the Hawai‘i Office of Veterans Services on Kaua‘i. Questions? Call 241-3348.

© 2016 Thegardenisland.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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