LVMAC News — Mensch Says More Can Be Done


 State Senator Bob Mensch, 24th District, spoke to the Council at its business meeting on 18 April 2012.

A Valley Forge Military Academy graduate, he served in the Army Reserve as a platoon sergeant of a heavy engineer equipment platoon during the Vietnam Era. Currently, among other committees, he serves on the Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee, headed by Senator Lisa Baker.  He is on the only legislator in the valley to so serve on a veterans affairs related committee.

He began by stating he recognizes that the Vietnam War veterans often returned with unattended problems and with little due respect from their society. He has had buddies who suffer from Agent Orange diseases and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Consequently, he feels strongly we must do better by our veterans.

Things are significantly different now, he related, and we have learned to respect our troops, no matter our disagreements about the current war.  Nonetheless, our state legislature is not doing as good a job as it should in helping to catch returning veterans who need help, particularly in the area of mental health and PTSD. (more…)

LVMAC Tidbits — Sign Up for “Salute to the Troops” Dinner

Ninth Annual Dinner to be Held to  Honor Our Military Service Members

The entire community is invited to participate with the Lehigh Valley Military Affairs Council (LVMAC) and the City Allentown in an event which brings together active military, ROTC, veterans, elected officials and the general public for an evening filled with thanks and appreciation for those who serve in our military. Local service men and women and Gold Star mothers attend free of charge through sponsorships by organizations, businesses and individuals from around the Lehigh Valley. (more…)

LVMAC Tidbits — Talk DBQ (Not English) to Your Doctor

VA Expands Medical Forms Program to Support Faster Claims Processing

Previously, we have reported upon the importance of asking the doctor examining you during a compensation claim if he has reviewed the medical information found in your claims file (c-file) before he starts examining you and follow-on steps to be taken if he/she has not.

On the heels of it, the Department of Veterans Affairs has announced the adding of sixty-eight, new forms to help speed the processing of disability compensation and pension claims. This now brings the total number of  these documents known as Disability Benefits Questionnaires (or DBQs for short) to 71. The purpose of the initiative is to better guide physicians in properly completing their reports of medical findings to ensure the Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA — the Regional Office located in Philadelphia in our case) has exactly the medical information needed to make a prompt decision. Each questionnaire addresses a specific set of conditions and associated symptoms for diagnosis. (more…)

LVMAC Tidbits — First Question to Ask in a Medical C&P Exam

VVA Warns Vets to Get Smart About Compensation and Pension (C&P) Examinations

The Vietnam Veterans of America wants you to know the first question the veteran should ask the VA doctor is, “Have you had a chance to review my claim file?”    If the answer is no, the veteran should ask the doctor to first review the claim file. The veteran should only proceed with the exam after the doctor has reviewed all the information the veteran has submitted and VA has received regarding the claim (the claim file or c-file). (more…)

LVMAC Tidbits — New DAV Service Officer in Town

Disabled American Veterans Re-establish Local Service in the Lehigh Valley

Carmen DeSanti, the chairman of the state’s Disabled American Veterans (DAV) Service Officer Program (the national organization separately provides national service officers at the Philadelphia VA Regional Office), is reestablishing direct, face-to-face service for Lehigh Valley veterans who wish to use the DAV for their Power of Attorney on a disability compensation or pension claim, or to seek benefits advice. (more…)

LVMAC Tidbits — DAV Van Driver Wanted

Wilkes-Barre VA Volunteer Transportation System Seeks Bangor Clinic Driver

The Lehigh Valley Military Affairs Council needs the help of the community in finding volunteer drivers for the Northampton County (Bangor) Department of Veterans (VA) Affairs Outpatient Clinic.  The use of this free transportation service, manned by volunteers, for medical appointments at the Wilkes-Barre VA Medical Center is important to the care of veterans in the upper Northampton County area.

Leonard Croop, the Hospital Service Coordinator for the Disabled American Veterans (DAV) at Wilkes-Barre VA Medical Center, is seeking at least one driver to continue the van service begun in 2007.  Otherwise, the service must cease. (more…)

LVMAC Tidbits — Resources for the Unemployed

Local AFL-CIO Holds a Resources Fair at the Allentown IBEW Hall.

Unemployment leads to a host of problems.  For that reason, the AFL-CIO is holding a resource fair for those who are unemployed on 12 April at the IBEW Hall located at 12th and Liberty in Allentown.  It is one of the five planned for the state.  This should give you an idea of the seriousness of the problem in the valley, despite the “happy talk” you might hear and see in the media.  View it as a survival fair.  Unemployed veterans might benefit from attending. (more…)

LVMAC Tidbits — Small Games of Chance Law Changed

Bill Increases Prizes for Small Games of Chance

On 2 February, Governor Corbett of Pennsylvania signed House Bill 169 into law as Act 2 of 2012, a bill for which the veterans organizations in this state lobbied long and hard and considered by some necessary for their continued charitable works, in the face of declining memberships.  The thirty day grace period having passed, the law is now in effect. (more…)