THE HCVAC NEWSLETTER - Week of 21 November 2016

 Our Press Release made the FRONT PAGE!!! J Here is what it said:

Henry County veterans board expands hours

CAMBRIDGE — The Henry County Veterans Assistance Commission has increased the hours it will be open each week to serve area veterans.

“It has been a tough year for veterans all over the country,” commission Supt. Dot Meindok said in a news release. “Each day 22 veterans commit suicide and it is reasoned that much of that is due to lack of services and difficulty in accessing services.

“In an effort to help fill the gap, the county’s veterans and the staff and board of the Henry County Veterans Assistance Commission have decided to stay open an additional day without taking a pay increase,” the news release said.

“We are all in this together, we are all veterans, brothers and sisters in arms and a few extra hours is nothing if it can make the difference in a veteran’s quality of life,” Meindok said in the release. “Curtis Potter and I, along with our board and volunteer drivers, see this as a necessity and we are happy to be able to serve,” she added.

Claims appointments are confidential, and are normally scheduled on Wednesdays, according to the news release, so veterans seeking assistance with a claim should make an appointment. Walk-in assistance is available on all days but the best days for quick service are Monday and Tuesday when the office is fully staffed, according to the news release.

New hours for the veterans assistance office on the third floor of the Henry County Courthouse are Monday through Wednesdays, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Veterans can check the office’s calendar at for information on holidays, special events and office closures.

Or they can phone 309-937-3450 or 3451.

WQAD covers Geneseo’s COST OF FREEDOM weekend honoring veterans.  See the video clip by clicking on the provided link.



 To Whom It may Concern:  I am looking to your organization for 'help'.  My dad is a Military Veteran.  He served during the Korean conflict.  They has him stationed in a few places in Africa.  He took his service seriously and is quite proud of what he did.  Currently, sadly, he is on hospice care at home.  We don't know how long he has; days, weeks, a month or two.  We have discovered that cards and notes of well wishes and thoughts cheer him up!  I have gone through all my friends and relatives and the cards have stopped.  I need to get him more cards.  I thought you could forward this plea to everyone in your organization.  Friends, family, members, groups etc.  The address is safe to pass on as it's my WORK address.  Would you please help me recruit any military people, friends or families that would be willing to send my dad a note or card so we can inundate him with mail to cheer him up???  I would be eternally grateful.  IF you can help, please have people forward their cards/  notes to:  Squaw Grove, Attn.  Verne W., 165 W. Lincoln Ave., Hinckley, IL 60520.  THANKS!!!!


Trump and Clinton actually agree on one issue: Helping vets

Both favor expanded services for vets, though Trump wants more flexible private care. 

Check out this story on Clinton and Trump, AGREE??


Vets: Effects of Agent Orange extend to next generation

By Dave Boyer - The Washington Times - Monday, August 22, 2016

A top House Republican said Monday that theDepartment of Veterans Affairs is hiding behind a “litany of excuses” instead of improving health care for veterans.

House Veterans Affairs Chairman Jeff Miller, Florida Republican, said VA officials “haven’t learned much from the wait-time scandal that shook VA to its foundations and forced the resignation of former Secretary Eric Shinseki” in 2014.

“Unfortunately, it seems the same sort of attitude that created the VA scandal is still alive and well within thedepartment,” Mr. Miller wrote in an op-ed for “VA leaders have adopted the puzzling strategy of downplaying and making excuses for instances of employee misconduct that every objective observer knows are abhorrent.”

He pointed to recent comments by VA Deputy Secretary Sloan Gibson, who criticized some media coverage for creating a false impression that veterans seeking care would encounter “some lazy, corrupt bureaucrat who doesn’t care a whit.” Mr. Miller said those comments “are a remarkable rhetorical about-face” for Mr. Gibson after earlier complaining about the agency’s culture that led to problems with delayed care.

The VA’s inspector general has founded that 293 veterans died awaiting care at VA facilities in Phoenix, with scores of other such cases nationwide. But Mr. Miller said the VA has fired fewer than 10 employees for issues related to wait times.

“Let that sink in. VA bureaucrats at 40 locations were manipulating data to hide long waits for care, 316 veterans died and yet VA has only successfully fired fewer than 10 people for these issues,” Mr. Miller said. “It’s obvious that until those who caused the VA scandal are removed from the department’s payroll, efforts to reform the department will never succeed.”

The lawmaker said the Obama administration can’t fix the problem because the VA too often is “content to simply make excuses — often excruciatingly bad ones — for their misbehavior.”

“Veterans are depending on VA for solutions to thedepartment’s most pressing problems,” Mr. Miller said. “There is simply no excuse for VA’s litany of excuses regarding employees who can’t or won’t do their jobs.”

Copyright © 2016 The Washington Times, LLC

Congressional Extension  on Guidelines for Upgrading OTH Discharges due to PTSD and TBI. The Congressional letter is attached if you would like to read it. So, far 103 of the 271 adjudicated cases have resulted in upgrades. There are still 481 cases pending.

  WARNING: The following 2 articles are likely to incite anger and sadness. I know they were hard for me to deal with. I have published them here because I am of the belief that WE cannot look away as this continues to happen over and over again, all over the nation. If this type of article should not be in this newsletter please email me and let me know. This is you newsletter as well as mine and I want only to inform you of matters that you want to know about. Remember – you can call me directly at 309-751-8136 anytime. I am not a counselor but I will always listen and help in any way that I can. With love and caring for all of you, Dot

 Veteran dies after setting himself on fire outside New Jersey VA clinic

By Jessica Chasmar - The Washington Times - Thursday, March 24, 2016

A 51-year-old veteran died Saturday night after he set himself on fire outside a Department of Veterans Affairs clinic in New Jersey.

Northfield police said Charles R. Ingram III of Egg Harbor Township was airlifted Saturday afternoon to the Temple Burn Center in Philadelphia, where he died later that night, The Press of Atlantic City reported Wednesday.

Mr. Ingram reportedly used gasoline as an accelerant and set himself on fire at the clinic at 1901 New Road, which was closed at the time. The Northfield clinic is part of the Wilmington VA Medical Center system.

No note of explanation was left at the scene or at Mr. Ingram’s home, said Northfield acting Police Chief Paul Newman.

Atlantic County Veterans Affairs Director Bob Frolow said the clinic’s daytime Monday-to-Friday schedule causes a hardship for veterans who cannot get there during work .

“At the very least, his actions were an expression of need,” Mr. Frolow speculated. “It’s a shame and sign of desperation and need. This might open a window on that need.”

On Tuesday, veterans were seen visiting a memorial for Mr. Ingram that had been set up at the site of the fire, The Press reported.

The Wilmington VA Medical Center issued a statement saying it was “saddened to learn about the tragic incident that took place outside of the Atlantic County Community Based Outpatient Clinic. … Our thoughts and prayers are with the victim’s family, friends and neighbors.”

“Due to the open investigation and patient privacy concerns, we will not be commenting further at this time,” the statement said, The Press reported.

A VA official told the paper that 22 veterans commit suicide each day in the country.

Copyright © 2016 The Washington Times, LLC


76 year old veteran kills himself in VAMC parking lot after being denied care.

A 76-year-old veteran committed suicide Sunday in the parking lot of New York Veterans Affairs hospital, police said.

Peter A. Kaisen, of Islip, was pronounced dead after he shot himself outside the nursing home at Northport Veterans Affairs Medical Center on Long Island, Suffolk County police told The New York Times.

The reason for Mr. Kaisen’s suicide was not immediately known, but two people connected to the hospital told The Times he was angry after he was allegedly denied care in the emergency room for issues related to his mental health.

“He went to the ER and was denied service,” a hospital worker told The Times. “And then he went to his car and shot himself.”

The staff member said there is always a psychologist on call, and the mental health building is open seven days a week, but no one at the ER gave Mr. Kaisen that information.

“Someone dropped the ball,” the worker said. “They should not have turned him away.”

A spokesman for the hospital, however, said there “was no indication that he presented to the ER prior to the incident,” The Times reported.

Spokesman Christopher Goodman said “the employees here at Northport feel this loss deeply and extend their thoughts and prayers to all those impacted by this tragedy.”

The Northport hospital has been under scrutiny for mismanagement since The Times reported in May that it had closed all five of its operating rooms for months due to dust contamination in its decaying air ducts.

Copyright © 2016 The Washington Times, LLC.




SOS Is a 501(c)3 Not-For Profit whose mission is to provide free Equine-Assisted Learning Services to active military, reserves, veterans of all ages and dependents.


Click here to see what this is all about.


Transgender bathroom access extends to all federal buildings

By Jessie Hellmann

 Federal buildings nationwide must allow transgender employees and visitors to use the bathrooms that correspond to their gender identity, according to a notice set for Thursday publication in the Federal Register.

The General Services Administration says the more than 9,000 buildings and offices controlled by the agency must comply, NBC News reported.

"Federal agencies occupying space under the jurisdiction, custody, or control of GSA must allow individuals to use restroom facilities and related areas consistent with their gender identity," the notice says.

The rule applies to federal courthouses and offices of the Social Security Administration and the Department of Veterans Affairs, but it won't apply to the U.S. Capitol building or national parks. 

The notice says agencies can't require proof a transgender person is undergoing a sex change or have them produce proof of any surgery. 

"The self-identification of gender identity by any individual is sufficient to establish which restroom or other single-sex facilities should be used," the notice says.

The issue of bathroom use by transgender people has been an issue this year following a directive from the Obama administration that advises public schools to allow students to use the bathrooms corresponding to their gender identity or risk losing federal funding. 

Several states are challenging that directive in court. 


It’s the PIG TIME!!!!!


Be sure to see the schedule, map and parade route in the attachments. A BIG THANK YOU to PAUL KING & DENNIS HANSEN and all the vets riding in the parade! Dot will be behind the van in a red train ringing a bell! Before and after the parade Dot will be manning a non-profit booth promoting awareness of HCVAC, this booth is near concessions, so come out and say HI!


On Sunday, Dot will be representing HCVAC on the TOUR OF HOG HEAVEN in a 28 mile bike ride. She will be sporting HCVAC and veteran gear! Learn the route and please DO NOT run her over. LOL



NOW HIRING VETERANS (Don’t forget, employment postings are attached with many other opportunities.)

Bowhead is currently looking to fill the following positions: Network Administrator, IT Help Desk Technicians, Information Security Manager, Technical Recruiter, Knowledge Manager, and SCCM/Desktop Imaging Lead.
For more information, click the logo or email Dan Darland at


Schebler is currently hiring Industrial Workers and Welders
For more information, click the logo or email
IH Mississippi Valley Credit Union is currently hiring for entry level teller positions - Member Services Representatives
For more information, click the logo or email Julie Stickney at
Ruhl & Ruhl Realtors is currently looking for Real Estate Salespersons.
For more information, click the logo or email Darcy Holle at
Principal is currently hiring Financial Advisors.
For more information, click the logo or email Jason Folsom at



9/1/2016 6:00:33 PM hosted by the R.I.A. Federal Credit Union and QC River Bandits 
Come out for the River Bandits baseball game at 7 pm on 1 September!
Half of the ticket price of $8 will go to support the Honor Flight of the Quad Cities! Tickets can be purchased at any of the area R.I.A. Federal Credit Union branches.


9/7/2016 9:30:47 AM This is a great opportunity to meet, interact, and recruit Soldiers,
Veterans, and their Family Members, who can be an asset to your


9/9/2016 11:00:56 AM Click here to register! 
The Iowa National Guard and the Iowa Employer Support of the Guard and Reserves will be hosting Civilian Employers on a Center of Influence event at the Davenport Army Aviation Support Facility at 9650 N HARRISON ST, DAVENPORT, IA, 52806-7338.
E-mail ( or Fax (515-252-4519) Registration by Friday, September 2, 2016 to: Becky Coady (Iowa Committee for ESGR). Telephone Number: 515-334-2757. 


9/10/2016 8:00:25 AM Adonai Community Support Services (ACSS) is hosting it's 5th annual golf tounament.

SEPTEMBER 10, 2016


9/11/2016 2:00:08 PM Gather along our route Sunday, Sept. 11, beginning at 2 p.m. and into the evening, to honor local first responders and military members on the 15th Anniversary of 9/11. If you know a first responder or military group who would be interested in participating in the march, please contact Modern Woodmen's Be an Everyday Hero project remembers and honors those lost... and recognizes the brave first responders, military members and others who continue to serve our community every day. Visit for more details, including a map of the march route.


9/15/2016 11:00:05 AM The R.I.A. Federal Credit Union is hosting an Open House at our Arsenal Island branch (in Building 61) from 11:00 am - 1:00 pm on Thursday, 15 September. Come out, enjoy some free hot dogs and chips, and meet our new branch management team of Nicole Kespohl and Angela Zerbonia


9/27/2016 6:35:08 PM Save the Date — 9th Annual Cards for the Troops
Please join us Tuesday, Sept. 27, 6:30-9 p.m., at  for the 9th Annual Cards for the Troops.
Adults only (high school and older), please. Hand-made rubber stamp art cards are created by hundreds of volunteers under the guidance of local stamping artists for our deployed troops to mail home to loved ones. No stamping experience required. 



August 19, 2016


In This Issue:

1. VFW, VA Host Successful Vet Center Tour and Q&A

2. VA Adds New Women’s Chat Service

3. Help with Health Care Billing Issues

4. Expanding Online Exchange Shopping Access

5. MIA Update


1. VFW, VA Host Successful Vet Center Tour and Q&A: On Wednesday, the VFW partnered with VA to host a live Facebook tour of the Annapolis, Md., Vet Center and a Facebook chat regarding the benefits and services available at the 300 Vet Centers and 80 mobile Vet Centers throughout the country. National Veterans Service Deputy Director Ryan Gallucci and Chief Officer for VA’s Readjustment Counseling Service Mike Fisher toured the Annapolis Vet Center and discussed the array of confidential health care and services one-stop Vet Centers provide to service members, veterans and their families. Following the tour, VA subject matter experts and VFW staff answered questions regarding Vet Center eligibility, community programs and how to find the nearest Vet Center. Many veterans also shared how Vet Centers have positively impacted their lives. The VFW urges VFW members and leaders to partner with local Vet Centers for community outreach and service projects. To learn more about Vet Centers, visit: To view a video of the tour or read the questions and answers, visit:


2. VA Adds New Women’s Chat Service: The VA’s Women Veterans Call Center is expanding its outreach to women veterans with a new online, one-to-one chat function. The new service enables women veterans to go online and anonymously chat via real-time text messaging with trained representatives, all of whom are women and many of whom are veterans themselves. The new chat feature, which is open extended hours Monday through Saturday, provides another avenue for women veterans to ask general questions about benefits, eligibility and services specifically related to them. Learn more at:


3. Help with Health Care Billing Issues: VA has established a toll-free phone number for veterans to call if private sector health care providers have improperly billed them for care that VA is required to pay. The VFW urges any veteran being pursued by collection agencies to seek VA’s assistance. VA will help you resolve adverse credit reporting and debt collection issues. Veterans who believe they have been incorrectly billed for their care should also call the billing call center to determine if VA is liable for the cost of the care. For assistance, call 1-877-881-7618 and press 1, from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Eastern Time.  


4. Expanding Online Exchange Shopping Access: Military Times is reporting that the Defense Department’s Executive Resale Board is recommending that all honorably discharged veterans be authorized to shop online through military exchange store websites. The VFW-supported idea was first pitched two years ago by the Army & Air Force Exchange Service as a way to increase donations to respective service morale, welfare and recreation programs, as well as to thank the great majority of honorably discharged veterans who do not make the military a career. If approved, the new benefit would apply to online shopping only, not at traditional brick-and-mortar stores, where access will remain restricted to military ID card carrying service members, retirees, 100 percent disabled veterans, and their eligible family members.


5. MIA Update: The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency announced the identification of remains of one soldier and two sailors who had been missing in action from the Korean War and World War II. Returned are:

-- Army Pvt. Virgil B. Adkins, of Summers, W.Va., who is scheduled to be buried with full military honors on Sept. 3 in Hinton, W.Va. On July 17, 1953, Adkins was reported missing after his patrol came under attack north of the former Demilitarized Zone in North Korea. He was assigned to Company B, 1st Battalion, 65th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Infantry Division. Read more at:

-- Navy Fireman 1st Class Jim H. Johnston and Seaman 1st Class Murry R. Cargile, were both stationed aboard the USS Oklahoma on Dec. 7, 1941, when the battleship suffered multiple torpedo hits and capsized as it was moored off Ford Island in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. During salvage efforts, a large number of remains representing as many as 400 individuals were recovered and buried as unknowns at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Honolulu. The remains were exhumed in 2015, and due to advances in forensics technology, both Johnston and Cargile were identified. Interment services are pending. Read more at: and





Dorothy “Dot” Meindok, Esq.

Superintendent, Henry County

  Veterans Assistance Commission

Henry County Courthouse

307 W. Center Street

Cambridge, IL 61238

(309) 937-3451




Normal Office Hours

Mon & Wed (0800-1630hrs)



Henry County Veteran's Assistance


Dorothy Meindok, Esq.

Curtis Potter
Veterans Service Officer

Clarke Barnes, Esq.
National Veterans Service Officer

Phone: 309-937-3451  



307 West Center Street
Cambridge, IL   61238
Office Hours:      
8:00 AM - 4:30 PM
Monday - Wednesday

Financial Assistance for needy Veterans 





Application to State Veteran Home

Free Transportation to VA Hospital in Iowa City

Help in obtaining military records

Provide Memorial Day Flags & Markers for Veterans graves.

VA Health Registration

VA Compensation and Pension Claims & Case Management - by appointment only, usually on Wednesdays. 


Property Tax Press Release

e-benefits log-in assistance

e-benefits log-in "Cheat Sheet"

VA Office of Inspector Genera Audit Report

VAC Application

Follow-up Application for Assistance

HCVAC Policy Memo

Illinois Veterans Benefits

Veterans Burial Benefits

How Can I Volunteer as a VAC Driver? 

Henry County Food Pantry Contacts