Some of the 'Services' and 'Programs we have available
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180 W. Idaho Ave, Ontario, Oregon 97914
"I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The great point is to bring them the real facts."
President Abraham Lincoln, 16th President of the United States
NEED HELP!!!! PLEASE!!! The Covid-19 pandemic has left many local Veterans and their families in need. If you are fortunate to not need your stimulus money or part of it, please think about donating it to Veteran Advocates of Ore-Ida. As a non-profit your donation would be tax deductible. Please call me, Thank You.....
Ron Verini - Chairman 541-709-8373
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Our "Facebook Page Manager' is fantastic and really does a Great Job in posting a wide array of interesting stories. We really appreciate the work she does!!! Thanks Marilyn
Here a photo of Gravesites at Arlington National Cemetery
1870 Decoration Day Parade in St. Paul, Minnesota
Boalsburg, Penn. claiming to be first place to celebrate Memorial Day
Memorial Day (previously, but now seldom, called Decoration Day) is a federal holiday in the United States for honoring and mourning the military personnel who had died while serving in the United States Armed Forces. The holiday is now observed on the last Monday of May, having been observed on May 30 from 1868 to 1970.
Many people visit cemeteries and memorials on Memorial Day to honor and mourn those who died while serving in the U. S. Military. Many volunteers place an American Flag on graves of military personnel in national cemeteries.
Two other days celebrate those who have served or are serving in the U.S. military: Veterans Day, which honors those who have served in the United States Armed Forces;and Armed Forces Day, an unofficial U.S. holiday (earlier in May) for honoring those currently serving in the armed forces.
The history of Memorial Day in the United States is complex. The U.S. Department of Veterans' Affairs recognizes that approximately 25 places claim to have originated the holiday. At Columbus [Georgia] State University there is a Center for Memorial Day Research, and the University of Mississippi incorporates a Center for Civil War Research that has also led research into Memorial Day's origins.The practice of decorating soldiers' graves with flowers is an ancient custom. Soldiers' graves were decorated in the U.S. before and during the American Civil War. Many of the origination claims are myths, unsupported by evidence, while others are one-time cemetery dedications or funeral tributes. In 2014, one scholarly effort attempted to separate the myths and one-time events from the activities that actually led to the establishment of the federal holiday.
WASHINGTON — Calls to the Veterans Crisis Line have increased since the coronavirus pandemic hit the United States, the Department of Veterans Affairs confirmed Monday.
The crisis line, a suicide prevention tool for veterans and their families, has experienced a 12% increase in call volume, VA Secretary Robert Wilkie told veterans organizations on a call Sunday. About 20% of recent calls to the hotline were related to the pandemic, the VA press secretary confirmed.
The staffing levels at the call centers are enough to meet the current demand, Press Secretary Christina Mandreucci said. She said the department is tracking the number of calls and updating its staffing plans to ensure all of them are answered.
The VA posted to its website a list of recommendations for veterans who are anxious about the pandemic. They suggested staying connected with friends and family over the phone and on social media, meditating, reducing their news consumption before going to sleep, doing activities they enjoy, focusing on what they can control, eating a balanced diet and exercising, among other things.
The department is also encouraging VA patients to stay engaged with their treatment by meeting virtually with their mental health providers. VA staff are being trained to transition their patients to telehealth, Mandreucci said.
03/26/20 by James Barber, Military.com - Anyone who’s familiar with Army veteran, YouTube star, Black Rifle Coffee entrepreneur and hyperactive force of nature Mat Best knew he wouldn’t be sitting on his butt watching Netflix once the COVID-19 quarantine hit. Our boy has instead been keeping busy writing and recording with Tim Montana, enlisting his fellow veterans and celebrity friends to make an appropriately social-distanced video and now they’ve delivered the best country song you’ll hear.
The Chairman of Veteran Advocates of Ore-Ida, Ronald Verini, writes two articles every month for publication in a Regional Newspaper,this article "THE WARS AND CONFLICTS CONTINUE" will be published on May 24, 2020. Here is an part of Mr. Verinis' article, and you can read the full article by clicking the red bar below.
The Wars and Conflicts Continue
May 24th, 2020 Veterans Corner Article by Ronald Verini
This column started out with an abbreviated coffee clutch at VAOI since we are behind locked doors and have a limited number of folks around our table.
They might not be headlines anymore but our military are our there fighting and sacrificing for us each and every day. Tomorrow is Memorial Day: honoring those that have died in the service of our Country. Do something special for a family of a man or woman that gave their life for us. Honor them by maybe supporting those in the service of our Country today or have served in the past. Do something special on this one day of remembrance that says you really care.
I would think that during this time of COVID-19 you would give thanks that our military forces are keeping us safe and fighting in conflicts that keep our enemies at arm’s length. While we here at home are practicing social distancing or not, our military forces continue aboard our ships, submarines, jungles and in far off lands ready to fight to keep our freedoms here at home, and in some cases dying for us.
I thought that just maybe this COVID-19 would help bring our Nation together and we would be thinking more about our Country as a unit, working as a team and not as divided. I was and am wrong and I would think that those in our Armed Forces have to think that also? I certainly can’t speak for everyone of our military and I would never do that so I speak for myself and some that I have talked with recently that happen to share my opinion, some did not share my judgement. Some thought that the demonstrations were good for our Country since the demonstrators were expressing their rights as citizens. That is true, but at what cost? Some have expressed a desire to get back to normal. What do you think that really means?
“TO READ THE FULL ARTICLE PLEASE CLICK THE RED BAR BELOW.....
24 May, 2020 By Sara Kuhl, Richmond Register, Ky.
When local business owner Gus LaFontaine signed up for U.S. Army National Guard fresh out of high school in 1998, he didn't anticipate his service would include responding to a health crisis like the coronavirus.
"When I joined the Army National Guard, I knew that a deployment was on the table or could be on the table. I knew that I would respond to natural disasters. I've worked an ice storm. I've worked hurricanes. We work tornadoes," he explained. "But I never imagined fighting a virus ever.
"And in the Army, we're trained to imagine the things that you wouldn't imagine."
LaFonntaine -- who co-founded Lafontaine Preparatory School, LaFontaine Early Learning Center and a child care center with his wife, Kristin-- explained he went through a National Guard exercise where the enemy was a flu pandemic.
"But it had been a long time ago, and that wasn't recent in anybody's mind," he said.
So when the virus broke out in Kentucky, things were a little hectic for LaFontaine, who had been serving in public affairs for the National Guard.
More than 800 soldiers in Kentucky Air National Guard, which includes soldiers and airmen, were called to actively fight the coronavirus, he said.
"We run a small public affairs shop in the Kentucky National Guard, so when the state started shutting services down and ramping up Guard operations, I knew I needed help," said Maj. Stephen Martin, director of Public Affairs for the Kentucky National Guard, who is also LaFontaine's boss. "My first call was to Maj. LaFontaine. He said he could be there within 72 hours, and he's been here for the duration."
LaFontaine was assigned to the Joint Operations Center in Frankfort.
"We assess the need of the state or we receive the need of the state from the governor and then we source those assets to be able to support that mission," he said. "So sometimes those assets are ... soldiers and airmen."
22 May, 2020 By Margot Carlson Delogne, Military.com
Margot Carlson Delogne is the founder of the 2 Sides Project, a nonprofit that unites sons and daughters who lost fathers on both sides of the Vietnam War, and the producer of a documentary about the project that aired on PBS stations nationwide. She resides in Arizona and is working on a memoir.
My father, Air Force Capt. John W. Carlson, was killed in Vietnam in December 1966. He was 27 years old when he died and, since his crash site was never officially found, he is still classified as missing in action.
Every Memorial Day is a reminder that he is gone. While I can honor his service, I cannot easily preserve his memory, because I have no memories of my own.
I'm not alone. An estimated 20,000 children lost fathers on the American side of the Vietnam War. Some remember their dads, but their memories are now faint. Many more were either too young or not born when their fathers died. A handful, like me, may visit an empty grave because their fathers were never found.
I was two years old when my father died. The official report from that day said he had just dropped a bomb when his single-man jet suddenly rolled to the left, inverted and crashed. Death was deemed instantaneous, and no recovery attempts were made. The search for his crash site restarted only when the United States and Vietnam re-established relations in 1995. Despite the best efforts of the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA), he remains one of the more than 1,500 missing from the war.
Over the years, I have grabbed at straws, looking for evidence of who he was. I would sometimes lie in bed and roll back time as far as I could, straining to remember something, anything about him. Nothing came. I began to create my own stories. A mental film of his death played over and over in my head. It goes like this: Realizing he's been hit, my father swears. Smoke swirls in the cockpit. He fixes on a picture of my sister Kim and me wedged into the side of the window. It flaps madly, edges aflame. He watches it all the way down.
April 16. 2020
"Love's Travel Stop" at exit 374 on I-84, Ontario, Oregon, has always contacted us when they knew a veteran needed some help. Well now they have added to their support by awarding Veteran Advocates of Ore-Ida a grant to help us assist our area veterans in need of 'Emergency assistance' with gas for their vehicle! We certainly give a huge "Thank You" to the management and staff of the Ontario, Oregon Love's and we continue to consider them a welcomed supporter of VAOI, and our area Veterans!
Love's address off of I-84 is 1041 NW Washington Ave, Ontario -
Phone is = 541-823-8282
There is also a Subway and a Chesters restaurant in this Love's.
Veterans needing 'Emergency assistance' with gas for their car/truck need to contact the Veteran Advocates of Ore-Ida at 541-889-1978 to see if you qualify.
What is the White House VA Hotline?
The hotline’s pilot began under direction of the Veterans Experience Office on June 1, 2017, and entered phase two on October 15, 2017.
White House VA Hotline: 1-855-948-2311.
Calls are answered by a live agent 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. The hotline is staffed by more than 60 agents who have had extensive training on VA programs and services. Most of these agents are a Veteran, military family member, caregiver or a survivor.
The White House VA Hotline conducts immediate warm hand offs for at-crisis risk Veterans needing the services of the Veterans Crisis Line.
Trends identified by the hotline will be used to rapidly respond to systemic inefficiencies and empower VA employees to resolve Veteran concerns quickly.
May 17, 2020 By Hope Yen, Associated Press
WASHINGTON — Facing growing criticism, the Department of Veterans Affairs said Friday that it will not halt use of an unproven malaria drug on veterans with COVID-19 but that fewer of its patients are now taking it.
In responses provided to Congress and obtained by The Associated Press, the VA said it never “encouraged or discouraged” its government-run hospitals to use hydroxychloroquine on patients even as President Donald Trump heavily promoted the drug for months without scientific evidence of its effectiveness.
Still, it acknowledged that VA Secretary Robert Wilkie had wrongly asserted publicly without evidence that the drug had been shown to benefit younger veterans. The VA, the nation’s largest hospital system, also agreed more study was needed on the drug and suggested its use was now limited to extenuating circumstances, such as last-ditch efforts to save a coronavirus patient’s life.
In the first week of May, 17 patients had received the drug for COVID-19, according to VA data obtained by the AP. The department declined to say how many patients had been treated with hydroxychloroquine for the coronavirus since January, but a recent analysis of VA hospital data showed that hundreds of veterans had taken it by early April.
“VA has not endorsed nor discouraged the use of hydroxychloroquine in COVID-19 patients and has left those decisions to providers and their patients,” the VA said. “While all drugs have the potential for adverse events and some drugs in particular, like hydroxychloroquine, are known to have specific risks, when they are used carefully and judiciously, they can be managed safely.”
Tester, who received VA’s responses this week, said he remained concerned about the drug’s safety.
“Any drug used to treat patients with COVID-19, especially veterans living with debilitating preexisting conditions, must be proven safe and effective before it’s administered,” he said. “Given recent studies from both VA and other hospitals, hydroxychloroquine seems to fall short of those requirements.” Major veterans organizations and Democrats, including Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, had called on the VA to explain why it allowed the use of an unproven drug on vets. Last week, a whistleblower complaint by former Health and Human Services official Rick Bright alleged that the Trump administration wanted to “flood” hot spots in New York and New Jersey with the drug.
Coronavirus infection and death tallies for the active duty military and Veterans Affairs populations as of May 1, 2020.
March 28, 2020 by Dorothy Mills-Gregg, Military.com
The Department of Veterans Affairs is beginning to divide its inpatient units into two zones to separate non-infectious patients from those with novel coronavirus, officials said. And when the need arises, as the new phased plan predicts it will, officials plan to discharge non-critical patients and even build new facilities.
The plan is part of a four-phased pandemic response blueprint released Friday, weeks after the VA was criticized for not publicly disclosing its plan to help veterans and the federal government respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The VA is currently in Phase 2, "Initial Response," which means staff are focusing on mitigating local or regional outbreaks by creating two zones.
Phase 3 is when the condition becomes drastic -- patient demand surpasses the VA's capability or supply chain. All routine care will be reduced or stopped at VA medical facilities, and the VA staff will then begin using other spaces like an outlying ward or field hospital to take in veterans and possibly the civilian public.
In outbreak mitigation phase, standard and COVID-19 zones will have separate air flows and staff restrooms and break and call rooms to eliminate the chance of cross contamination. This new division is in addition to the VA's current practice of pre-screening patients and asking them to call instead of just walking into a clinic.
Click the 'red-bar' below for full story......
March 26, 2020 by Oriana Pawlyk, Military.com
As novel coronavirus cases continue to spread among the ranks, top officials and health leaders have emphasized that the military must take crucial steps to help stop it, including new health-protection conditions (HPCON) and increased social distancing measures on bases.
But photos taken just last week show troops training side by side or participating in large gatherings amid the COVID-19 outbreak.
Publicly released military photos show service members participating in drill exercises and live-fire training, among other activities that require them to operate in close proximity.
The U.S. military services began taking precautions as early as March 7. Some services and commands attempted to limit human contact as much as possible with telework and virtual meetings, while others began canceling events and overseas travel. The protective measures even applied to brand-new service members as the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and Coast Guard began screening all new recruits for coronavirus symptoms earlier this month to prevent potential spread throughout the force, officials confirmed to Military.com on March 4.
This week, Defense Secretary Mark Esper said that, while social distancing may be impossible inside a tank or on a submarine, "If you can avoid putting ... a large number of people in small rooms, you should do it."
By Meghan Holohan
When baby Jace started crying, his father, Jeff Lee, struggled. True, the wail of a baby triggers anxious concern in most parents — but this was different. Little Jace’s screams reminded Jeff of the sound of a wounded Marine.
“There was a pitch that Jace would hit that sounded like a person who was hit on the battlefield,” Jeff’s wife, Jolynn Lee, 49, of Hubert, North Carolina, told TODAY Parents. “He couldn’t stand to hear him cry.”
Jeff enlisted in the U.S. Marines immediately after high school and deployed to Iraq during the first Gulf War. He later enrolled in the Marines’ Enlisted to Officer program to further his military career, and he found himself back in Iraq during the Iraq War. In 2004, during the brutal first Battle of Fallujah, Jeff got shot in the shoulder and bicep. He duct-taped himself up so he could continue fighting, and he earned a Purple Heart and Silver Star. But the man who returned home from Iraq was not the same person his family remembered.
“That is where our lives changed,” Jolynn said. “I was familiar with post-traumatic stress disorder and combat trauma. You can’t be part of the military and not at least hear of it. Experiencing it was a whole different ball game.”
WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) released in January an updated Department of Defense (DOD) list of locations outside of Vietnam where tactical herbicides were used, tested or stored by the United States military.
“This update was necessary to improve accuracy and communication of information,” said VA Secretary Robert Wilkie. “VA depends on DOD to provide information regarding in-service environmental exposure for disability claims based on exposure to herbicides outside of Vietnam."
DOD conducted a thorough review of research, reports and government publications in response to a November 2018 Government Accountability Office report.
“DOD will continue to be responsive to the needs of our interagency partners in all matters related to taking care of both current and former service members,” said Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper. “The updated list includes Agents Orange, Pink, Green, Purple, Blue and White and other chemicals and will be updated as verifiable information becomes available.”
Veterans who were exposed to Agent Orange or other herbicides during service may be eligible for a variety of VA benefits, including an Agent Orange Registry health exam, health care and disability compensation for diseases associated with exposure. Their dependents and survivors also may be eligible for benefits.
November 25, 2019 By Dorothy Mills-Gregg, Military.com
For veterans who think they were exposed to toxic substances during their service, the Department of Veterans Affairs has a mobile application that will help them answer questions about what this potential exposure means for their long-term health.
Originally designed for VA providers, Exposure Ed now lets anyone view a list of service-related exposures -- broken down by type, conflict and date or location of service. It also has a map veterans can use to find the closest VA facilities and exposure-related programs.
For example, veterans thinking they came into contact with the Vietnam-era herbicide Agent Orange can use the "Exposures" button on the home page for immediate access to a list of illnesses related to exposure. Or, veterans can input in the time and location they served to view everything they might have been exposed to.
The last option sorts exposure risks by conflict, ranging from World War II to Operation Iraqi Freedom/Operation New Dawn.
November 7, 2019 by Patricia Time, Military.com
Veterans with iPhones can now view their Department of Veterans Affairs medical records through their phone’s Health app.
VA and Apple began rolling out the capability during the summer but issued formal announcements this week, just ahead of Veterans Day.
“We have delivered veterans an innovative new way to easily and securely access their health information,” VA Secretary Robert Wilkie said Nov. 6 in a release. “Veterans deserve access to their health data at any time and in one place, and with health records on the Health app, VA has pushed the veterans experience forward.”
Veterans will see an aggregated view of their VA health care information such as lab results, medical history, procedures and medications.
Information from private medical providers also is available if that provider participates in the Apple Health program. More than 400 companies are on board, including Johns Hopkins, University of California San Diego, Quest Diagnostics and Allscripts.
WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) begins deciding Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act of 2019 claims, Jan. 1, 2020, extending the presumption of herbicide exposure that include toxins such as Agent Orange, to Veterans who served in the offshore waters of the Republic of Vietnam during the Vietnam War.
Prior to the measure, only Vietnam War Veterans who served on the ground in Vietnam or within Vietnam’s inland waterways were eligible to receive disability compensation and other benefits based on a presumption of herbicide exposure.
Qualifying recipients, in addition to affected Veterans still living, are certain survivors of deceased BWN and Korean DMZ Veterans.
Survivors can file claims for benefits based on the Veteran’s service if the Veteran died from at least one of the 14 presumptive conditions associated with Agent Orange. The law also provides benefits for children born with spina bifida if their parent is or was a Veteran with certain verified service in Thailand during a specific period.
We thank all the Supporters, Businesses and Friends for giving their time and resources in helping and caring for our Veterans, Military and First Responders and their Families.
We really appreciate your interest too, in 'Who we are and What we do'. If you have any questions or suggestions or would like to 'volunteer' or 'donate', well please contact us with an email, a phone call, or just drop on into the office.
You are always welcome to come and join us Monday thru Friday from 9am to 4pm. We are a "No Dues' nonprofit organization with the coffee pot always on and lots of conversation always available. Bring your questions regarding any veteran services you are concerned about, and we will do our best to steer you in the right direction.
Our phone is 541-889-1978, and we are located in Ontario, Oregon at 180 W. Idaho Ave.
Re-dedicated this last June 2019, to the memory and Honor of one of our local Heroes. The Veteran Advocates of Ore-Ida extend to you an open invitation to visit the Museum and Library and learn more about Sgt. Brennen and all of our local and regional Heroes who have served our great Country, and the many who did "GIVE ALL".
You may arrange special viewing appointments by calling our offices at 541-889-1978, Monday thru Friday from 9am to 4pm.
October 11, 2019, By Mathew Cox, Military.com
The graphic novel on former Staff Sgt. Salvatore Giunta tells the story of the first living recipient of the Medal of Honor since the Vietnam War, according to the release.
Then Spec. Giunta, of the 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team, was on patrol in the Korengal Valley of Afghanistan in October 2007 when his platoon was ambushed by Taliban fighters.
"Braving rocket-propelled grenades and intense smalls arms fire, Giunta advanced on the enemy, prevented the capture of a fellow paratrooper and turned the tide of the battle," the release states.
In July 2017, Giunta presented his Medal of Honor to his fellow paratroopers of the 173rd AirborneWE AT THE VETERAN ADVOCATES OF ORE-IDA, DEDICATED EARLIER THIS YEAR OUR 'MILITARY/VETERAN MUSEUM' TO THE MEMORY OF SGT. JOSHUA C. BRENNAN, ONE OF THE WOUNDED COMRADES THAT SPEC. SAL GIUNTA PULLED FROM THE TALIBAN FIGHTERS. SGT. BRENNAN LATER DIED OF HIS WOUNDS. SGT. BRENNAN WAS A LOCAL RESIDENT AND A GRADUATE OF OUR ONTARIO, OREGON HIGH SCHOOL.
"We are excited to share these stories with readers," Joseph Craig, director of AUSA's Book Program, said in the release. "It has been personally rewarding to learn more about these remarkable soldiers, and we have been fortunate to work with such a talented creative team to bring this history to life."
Veteran Advocates of Ore-Ida Doing The Right Things for The Right Reasons - Supporting Military Members- Veterans- and Their Families
We support 'Our Mission' through Donations and an All Volunteer Staff. Pictured here to the right is a young High School Senior whose Senior Project was to raise money for our Veteran Advocates of Ore-Ida programs, which he did by completing an engine swap in a Ford Taurus and thus raised $2,666.75. He is pictured with our Chairman and a few of our Veteran Volunteers.
Your support and contributions will enable us to meet our goals and improve conditions. Your generous donation will fund our mission.
We love our customers, so feel free to visit during normal business hours which are: M thru F 9:00am / 4:00pm.
180 W. Idaho Ave Ontario, OR 97914, US