Tag Archives: vet

Inaugural 9/11 Honor Walk Coming to Huntsville

2014 911 Walk Hsv

Still Serving Veterans, Soldier 1 Corporation, Turning Point Consultants LLC, Distinct Grace, Blue Star Veterans, and the U.S. Space & Rocket Center, have teamed up to bring Huntsville the inaugural “9/11 Honor Walk: Remember. Heal. Celebrate.” on Sep. 13, 2014 from noon to 5:00 p.m. at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center. The event is free with preregistration and will bring the community together in order to remember and honor all those affected by the tragic events of Sep. 11, 2001.

On September 11th, our world changed in an instant. We were handed a stunning tragedy the reverberations of which still echo in our lives today. With enormous dedication and courage First Responders rushed into burning towers and into the Pentagon. Passengers took down a commercial jet to save others. Others too, bore an incredibly disproportionate share of our country’s response to the attacks. Our military and their families, with enormous heroism, absorbed the consequences for us all with costs we cannot imagine. On Sep. 13, 2014 we honor them

The Honor Walk is no ordinary walk – it’s a labyrinth walk that is modest yet reflective. The 60×60 labyrinth is a simple path leading in a circular fashion to a center and then back out again. It will be located under the Path Finder Space Shuttle with the Color Guard for a one-of –a –kind first experience in North Alabama to honor the destiny of our times through those who paid for our future. There are no tricks or traps. As in life, there are many twists and turns and this ancient pattern can make visible and concrete the interior journey of those who walk it. Following the walk will be the celebration that will feature music from local bands JED Eye, Distinct Grace, and The Reps.

Tickets to the event are free with preregistration and include access to the U.S. Space & Rocket Center’s museum. Attendants without tickets will be required to pay museum entry or register at the door in order to access the event. Visit rocketcenter.com/HonorWalk to register for tickets.

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Resource Spotlight: Priority Veteran

Priority Veteran

Priority Veteran provides intensive one-on-one assistance to help veterans locate stable permanent housing and link them to resources to gain the skills and knowledge to help them remain financially stable. Case Managers help veterans create a Housing Stability Plan as well as access medical or mental health services, veteran’s benefits enrollment, job search assistance, financial coaching and more.

In partnership with United Way of Central Alabama, Priority Veteran provides veterans across Alabama with federal, state and local resources; linking veterans to hope. Priority Veteran began offering services to veterans in October 2013 with a $2 million Supportive Services for Veteran Families grant from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

What is Priority Veteran?

It is a service coordination program for homeless veterans and their families to help them secure permanent, sustainable housing and provide access to resources such as medical or mental health services, benefits enrollment, job search assistance, financial coaching, etc.

Who qualifies for Priority Veteran?

  • Veterans and their family members who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless
  • Very low income veterans based on area income standards
  • Veterans discharged other than dishonorable
  • Veterans with 24 months of service or with a VA Medical Card

What does ‘homeless’ mean?

The veteran (and family) does not have fixed, regular and adequate nighttime shelter or will lose nighttime shelter within a short period of time.

What are some of the services Veterans can receive from Priority Veteran?

Priority Veteran offers can assist low-income, homeless or at-risk veteran families with:

  • obtaining permanent, stable housing
  • obtaining VA benefits
  • obtaining federal and/or state benefits
  • accessing community-based resources
  • obtaining/completing employment training
  • obtaining employment
  • Advocacy in landlord/tenant disputes
  • Advocacy in rent/utility arrearages
  • Temporary Financial Assistance
    • Deposits
    • Rent assistance
    • Moving costs
    • General housing supplies
    • Utility assistance

Can families get help for a veteran?

Yes, services are for veterans and their families.  Veterans have to voluntarily agree to a Housing Stability Plan.  Families can call Priority Veteran and encourage veterans to enroll.

Can veterans get financial assistance from Priority Veteran?

Priority Veteran can assist with the cost of some service(s) in the Housing Stability Plan if the veteran will be homeless if that service is not provided.  This decision is made on a case-by-case basis.

 

Find out more about Priority Veteran and how to contact them by visiting their website: http://priorityveteran.org/priorityveteran/

Mr. and Mrs. Letson’s Story

Mr. and Mrs. Letson originally came to Still Serving Veterans to find out what, if any, VA benefits they were eligible for. After speaking with them for some time Laura, one of SSV’s Veteran Benefit Specialists recognized that they needed more than what the VA would be willing to offer them. The tornadoes of years past had taken a toll on the Madison couple’s home and on top of that, the home was no longer suitable for Mrs. Letson who was now confined to a motorized wheelchair.

The Letson’s were connected to SSV’s Community Integration Program counselors who helped the Letsons apply for a home renovation grant from Reliance Bank. Soon after, the process of renovations had begun and the couple was notified of the work planned for their home: a reconfigured bathroomthat would be handicap accessible, widened door frames, new sheet rock to replaced the damaged portions, relocation of the bedroom door, and new carpeting in the bedroom. The couple was astonished at the amount of work planned for their home and anxious for the results.

While their home was undergoing renovations, SSV also connected the Letson’s with The Madison Record in which both were highlighted as “Veteran of the Week.” Mrs. Virginia Letson spoke of how she twisted her father’s arm to sign the papers so she could join the Navy. Eight months later she had risen to the rank of Seaman Apprentice. Meanwhile, Mr. Charles Letson fought in the first attacks against North Vietnam in 1964 and rose to Petty Officer Third Class during his service. Soon after, Virginia met Charles Letson through a blind date at the drive-in. “I told her I’d give her 5 minutes to decide whether she wanted to marry me ,” Mr. Letson said. “And she said yes.” After 52 years of marriage, moving from city to city, and raising three kids, the Letson’s have finally begun to slow down but continue to be active in the Veteran community, including Still Serving Veterans. “Those people are all outstanding people,” Mr. Letson said of SSV’s staff.

Two months after initiating the renovations with SSV and Reliance Bank, the work was done. The Letson’s were incredibly thankful and had fallen in love with their home all over again. See some before and after shots below. For more pictures, visit Still Serving Veteran’s Facebook Page.

Letsons reliance Reno 2014 (1)

Letsons Reliance Reno 2014 (5)

Alabama G.I. Dependents’ Scholarship Information

This nationally renowned program was created by Act 633 and approved October 1947 by the Alabama Legislature. It is administered by the Alabama Department of Veterans Affairs and is governed by the Code of Alabama 1975, Section 31-6-1. The veteran must meet the following qualifications to establish eligibility of his/her dependents. A dependent is defined as a child, stepchild, spouse or the un-remarried widow (er) of the veteran.

Military Service:

The veteran must have honorably served at least 90 days of continuous active federal military service or honorably discharged by reason of service-connected disability after serving less than 90 days of continuous active federal military service.

Disability Requirements:

The veteran must be rated 20% or more due to service-connected disabilities or have held the qualifying rating at the time of death, a former prisoner of war (POW), declared missing in action (MIA), died as the result of a service-connected disability, or died while on active military service in the line of duty.

Residency Requirements:

The veteran must have been a permanent civilian resident of the State of Alabama for at least one year immediately prior to (a) the initial entry into active military service or (b) any subsequent period of military service in which a break (1 year or more) in service occurred and the Alabama civilian residency was established. Permanently service-connected veterans rated at 100% who did not enter service from Alabama, may qualify after establishing at least five years of permanent residency in Alabama immediately prior to the filing of an application or immediately prior to death, if deceased.

Student Entitlement:

As of Fall 2009, children and stepchildren of qualified veterans may receive five standard academic years (10 semesters) at any Alabama state-supported institution of higher learning or a prescribed course of study at any state-supported technical school without payment of any tuition, mandatory textbooks or instructional fees.

Additionally, eligible spouses and un-remarried widow(er)s of a qualified veteran rated as 100% permanently and totally disabled may also receive five standard academic years (10 semesters) at any Alabama state-supported institution of higher learning or a prescribed course of study at any state-supported technical school without payment of any tuition, mandatory textbooks or instructional fees.

Exception: As of Fall 2009, a spouse or un-remarried widow (er) of a veteran rated 20% to 90% disabled is entitled to three standard academic years (6 semesters) without payment of tuition, mandatory textbooks, and instructional fees or completion of the duration of one prescribed technical course not to exceed 18 months.

Participants in the program prior to Fall 2009 are eligible for four standard academic years (8 semesters) or two standard academic years (4 semesters), respectively.

Note: Applicants applying for benefits under the scholarship program beginning on or after Fall 2014 (August 1, 2014) will be eligible for benefits at the in-state and undergraduate tuition rate.

Note: Applicants who were previously denied benefits based solely on the veteran’s peacetime status may re-apply and receive benefits under the scholarship program at the out-of-state and graduate rate if applicable. Applications for previously denied applicants must be resubmitted and received at ADVA Headquarters prior to August 1, 2015 in order to receive benefits at this capacity.

Number of Awards:

There is no restriction on the number of eligible dependents under the veteran; however, each dependent may only receive the benefit once, regardless of changes in their future dependency status.

Age Deadline:

The child or stepchild must initiate training under our program prior to his/her 26th birthday. In certain situations, a child or stepchild may be eligible for our program up to the age of 30.

Note: This deadline may be extended for previously denied applicants who were denied based solely on the veteran’s peacetime status. In order to receive this extension, applications must be resubmitted and received at ADVA Headquarters prior to August 1, 2015.

Unauthorized Courses:

Our program does not pay for noncredit courses, remedial courses, placement testing, GED preparation, continuing educational courses, pre-technical courses, or state board examinations.

Supplies:

Our scholarship program does not pay for supplies such as pens, paper, notebooks, tools, art supplies, uniforms, computer software products, etc.

Book Purchases:

The G.I. Dependent Scholarship Program will only pay for those textbooks that are required for the courses in which the student is officially enrolled. Our program does not pay for the purchase of reference manuals, access codes, suggested reading materials, study guides, or recommended workbooks, etc. Reimbursement will not be made.

Alabama State Supported Schools:

Alabama A & M University – Normal
Alabama Southern Community College – Monroeville and Thomasville
Alabama State University – Montgomery
Athens State College – Athens
Auburn University – Auburn, and Montgomery
Bevill State Community College – Fayette, Hamilton, Sumiton, and Jasper
Bishop State Community College – Main, Carver, and Southwest
Central Alabama Community College – Alexander City and Childersburg
Chattahoochee Valley Community College – Phenix City
Enterprise State Community College – Albertville, Andalusia, Decatur, Enterprise, Fort Rucker, Mobile, and Ozark
Gadsden State Community College – Gadsden, Anniston, and Centre
George C. Wallace Community College – Selma, Dothan, Sparks, and Hanceville
J.F. Drake State Technical College – Huntsville
Jacksonville State University – Jacksonville
James H. Faulkner State Community College – Bay Minette, Fairhope, and Gulf
Shores
Jefferson Davis Community College – Brewton
Jefferson State Community College – Birmingham, Pell City, and Clanton
John C. Calhoun Community College – Decatur, and Huntsville
Lawson State Community College – Birmingham and Bessemer
Lurleen B. Wallace State Jr. College – Andalusia, Greenville, Luverne, and Opp
Marion Military Institute – Marion
Northeast Alabama State Jr. College – Rainsville
Northwest Shoals Community College – Muscle Shoals and Phil Campbell
Reid State Technical College – Evergreen
Shelton State Community College – Tuscaloosa
Snead State Jr. College – Boaz
Southern Union Community College – Wadley and Opelika
Trenholm State Technical College – Montgomery
Troy University – Troy, Montgomery, Dothan, and Phenix City
University of Alabama – Birmingham, Huntsville, and Tuscaloosa
University of Montevallo – Montevallo
University of North Alabama – Florence
University of South Alabama – Mobile
University of West Alabama – Livingston
*Online courses are covered under this program if offered through the schools listed above.

Eligibility Limitations & Terminations:

Dependents are eligible to participate in the program only as long as they remain the legal dependent of the veteran from which they derive their eligibility. In the event of a divorce action, the former spouse or stepchild will be ineligible to participate effective the date of the divorce. Any educational financial obligations entered into after the divorce date will be the responsibility of the former spouse or stepchild.

Widow(er) forfeits all entitlements upon remarriage without further consideration of reinstatement.

Application Assistance:

The Alabama Department of Veterans Affairs maintains offices throughout the state which can furnish information and assist you in filing your application. To find your nearest Veterans Service Office, visit the Veterans Service Office Locator Page for contact options.

Out-of-state applicants may receive additional information by contacting:

Alabama Department of Veterans Affairs
Alabama G.I. Dependents Scholarship Program
P.O. Box 1509
Montgomery, AL 36102-1509

Phone: (334) 242-5077

Links:

State Supported Schools

Alabama G.I. Dependents’ Scholarship Pamphlet

OFCCP Event – Building Partnerships to Employ Individuals with Disabilities

We cordially invite you to join us as we begin…

Building Partnerships to Employ Veterans & Individuals with Disabilities

Presented by
Birmingham District Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs
and
Alabama Department of Rehabilitative Services


Employers, join us and learn how you can partner with local recruitment and referral sources that have a pool of qualified veteran and disabled applicants seeking employment opportunities. Connect with other community based organizations, federal contractors, and state employment agencies in the effort to build a diverse workforce!

PRESENTERS:
Department of Veteran Affairs
Alabama Career Center
Alabama Vocational Rehabilitation
Still Serving Veterans

WHEN
June 25, 2014
10:00 a.m. – 12:00 noon (CST)

WHERE
Alabama Department of Rehabilitation Services
3000 Johnson Road SW, Huntsville, Alabama 35805

COST
Free

Federal contractors make a contractual promise to provide equal employment opportunity. Community, faith-based, and other organizations want to find jobs for their constituents. OFCCP wants to forge partnerships between job-seekers and federal contractors. Together, we can build a diverse workforce!

To R.S.V.P. contact Christopher Williams at
williams.christopher@dol.gov -or- (205) 731-0820
Should you require accommodation, please inform us when you R.S.V.P.

Still Serving Veterans’ 9th Annual Fall Golf Tournament

October 6, 2014 marks the date for Still Serving Veterans’ 9th Annual Golf Tournament. This four person scramble tournament will be hosted at Cherokee Ridge, a beautiful golf community nestled in the serene landscape of Union Grove, Alabama. Proceeds will go toward supporting the many programs and services Still Serving Veterans offers to the Veteran community.

The cost for this event is $150.00. This price includes breakfast, lunch, green and cart fees, participation in the tournament, and participation in other competitions such as Men’s Longest Drive, Women’s Longest Drive, Hole-in-One, Closest to the Pin, and more.

More details coming soon. For more information, please contact Shannon Drake at sdrake@stillservingveterans.org

Save the Date

Blue Pants Brewery’s “We Care Wednesday” Supports SSV

bluepantslogonewgrungeMadison-based Blue Pants Brewery is hosting a “We Care Wednesday” that will support Still Serving Veterans on June 11. The event will run from 3pm to 10pm and will feature live music from local artist Robby Eichman. A food truck will also be present. $1 of every purchase made during the event will be donated to Still Serving Veterans to support their mission: assisting Veterans and their families find jobs, receive their benefits, and find resources within their community to meet all needs.

Blue Pants’ brewers started out as homebrewers, playing with ingredients, and learning which tastes they love. They use their skills and creativity to create unique, or just exemplary beers, that may not fit any particular style category but are always good. Brews currently available are:

  • SPARE PAIR Pale Ale 6.0%
  • BOURBON WEE HEAVY Strong Scottish Ale 13.0%
  • WEEDY’S Double IPA 8.5%
  • WORKMAN Common Lager 5.0%
  • AMBER WADERS OF GRAIN Amber Lager 5.0%
  • SLIP ROSE Strawberry Saison 6.5%
  • KNICKERBOCKER Red Ale 7.0%
  • BREECHES ESB English Bitter Ale 5.0%
  • HIGHWATER Hoppy Tripel 9.0%
  • PINSTRIPE Stout 8.0%
  • TUXEDO BLACK IPA 7.0%

Performer Robby Eichman plays sunny Rock and Roll by employing the use of loop pedals, guitar, tambourine, and harmonica. He plays a mix of covers and originals. Robby was also named one of the top three vocalists in the Tennessee Valley. He wears his catchy influences on his sleeve and plays catchy music, which has proven to charm crowds into staying for “just one more song” until last call time and time again.

Blue Pants Brewery is located at 500 Lanier Rd. Madison, AL 35758 (map)

Donate to Still Serving Veterans

Visit Still Serving Veterans’ Website

Visit Blue Pants Brewery’s Website

Visit Robby Eichman’s Website

 

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