Read the March 2023 Newsletter from the Delaware Valley Veterans Consortium to stay informed about events and issues happening in the area.
Do you have news to share or upcoming events for the April 2023 newsletter and beyond? Please share!
This newsletter is published monthly as part of DVVC’s efforts to connect, collaborate, and communicate in service to Veterans throughout our region. Send your updates and questions to [email protected].
Member Organizations: To submit articles to the newsletter, please email [email protected] by the 25th of the month with your news. To submit news to DVVC social media sites, please email Lynne Williams at [email protected] with “For DVVC Social Media” in the subject line.
News from the Executive Committee
Dear DVVC Community,
In recognition of Women’s History Month, DVVC reflects on and honors the accomplishments that women have made, and continue to make, to our Nation’s Armed Forces. Starting with the Revolutionary War, women have served our country‘s military as soldiers, intelligence officers, nurses, engineers, and pilots, among many other positions. Today, more than 224,000 women serve in the active-duty military; women Veterans comprise nearly 10% of the total Veteran population according to Veterans Affairs. Female service members have faced unique challenges throughout history, fighting for all our freedoms, while seeking their own equal rights and opportunities.
Women Veterans have often face additional obstacles when they transition back to civilian life. Many of these women are single parents, and female Veterans have higher rates of homelessness. Women are also at a higher risk for military sexual trauma, which can lead to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and other mental health and physical conditions.
One of the best ways of honoring women Veterans is to push for changes in the law and in the benefits for which female Veterans are eligible. A considerable amount of emergency housing for Veterans does not allow children, yet many women Veterans are single parents. This can force these vets into homelessness.
One way of honoring women veterans is to volunteer at organizations that work with this population. There are several great charities and Veteran organizations with programs that can make a difference in the lives of our female Veterans. Some organizations that accept volunteers include:
- Fatigues To Fabulous
- Grace After Fire
- Military Women in Need
- Operation Reinvent
- Service Women’s Action Network
- She Served
Female members of the Armed Forces continue to make significant achievements in the defense of our country as their representation amongst the ranks grow.
“The Defense Department honors the contributions of women serving in the military and DOD civilian forces, celebrating the richness and diversity of their achievements in March and throughout the year”.
Visit their site https://www.defense.gov/Spotlights/womens-history-month/ and be amazed.
Also review the National Veterans Memorial Museum’s celebration of Women’s History Month at https://nationalvmm.org/education/monthly-awareness/womens-history-month/
“This month, we are sharing the powerful stories of our nation’s women Veterans – their challenges, victories, and achievements. We will connect you each week to new personal narratives of women who continue to inspire us. Be sure to check back for new videos, reading suggestions, virtual content, and online programming”.
Explore the many programs this month that draw attention to the two million women who wore our nations uniform. Women Veterans are our family members, friends and community leaders, and they have volunteered to serve since the Revolutionary War, shaping the world around them for future generations.
DVVC Executive Board
Veterans Care Excellence Liaison, Penn Medicine
DVVC Spring Quarterly Meeting: MST: Historical, Legal, and Psychological Perspectives
Friday, April 21
9-11 am on Zoom
Shardae Wescott, Community Engagement and Partnership Coordinator for Suicide Prevention, Coatesville VAMC, MST and Suicide Risk and Moderator
Katäri Brown, Ph.D., Military Sexual Trauma (MST) Coordinator, Coatesville VAMC, MST: History, Prevalence & Treatment
Elizabeth Tarloski, Staff Attorney in the Veterans Advocacy Project at Legal Aid of Southeastern PA, MST: Overcoming Obstacles to VA Benefits
Sarah Fox, Community Outreach Specialist at the Veterans Multi-Service Center, Clinical Psychology PsyD Student, MST: Comorbidities to Consider
Joanne Bell, Local Veteran Employment Representative, PA Department of Labor and Industry, My Experiences as a Military Sexual Trauma Survivor
Women Veterans Health & Wellness Event
Friday, March 24, 3-7 pm at St. Joseph’s University
Delaware County Veterans Memorial’s 10th Anniversary Time Capsule Burial
SAVE THE DATE: MAY 13, 10 am
NEWS from the University of Pennsylvania Veterans Upward Bound Program
The TRIO Veterans Upward Bound (VUB) program hosted by the Division of the Vice Provost for Student Engagement (VPSE) at the University of Pennsylvania is a FREE college preparatory program for eligible veterans federally funded with a grant from the U.S. Department of Education.
Our Goals: Prepare eligible veterans to enter, persist, and graduate from their post-secondary school of choice. The program is intended to encourage, empower, and familiarize college-bound veterans for the rigors of post-secondary education and training.
Our Scholars: The program enrolls veterans that are committed to their education and are highly motivated in their pursuit of attaining a college education and achieving their career and professional goals. Veterans in the following counties in the greater Philadelphia area are eligible to apply: Philadelphia, Bucks, Delaware, Montgomery, Chester, and Camden, NJ.
- Meetings with counselors to set goals and get baseline academic scores.
- Develop Individual Academic Plans (IAP) to help scholars reach their educational goals.
- Academic tutoring, which may include instruction in reading, writing, study skills, mathematics, science, and other subjects.
- Assistance in preparing for college entrance examinations and completing college admission applications.
- Information on financial aid programs and benefits, including federal grants, state grants, loans, and resources for scholarships.
- Cultural activities in and around the city to build a strong support system as scholars transition to college.
Contact Veterans Upward Bound Today:
Monthly Newsletters from Dept of Military and Veterans Affairs for News, Veteran Events and Opportunities in NJ and PA
In NJ, see: https://dmava.org/
Free Resume Workshop for Veterans
Community Action Agency of Delaware County has been helping Delco residents in various ways for over 40 years. This employment workshop is run by Jerry Paldino, who is an Employment Coach with CAADC. Jerry has helped hundreds of people find their own career and life path. Through his unique high-energy approach coupled with his imaginative way of making people think about what may be possible, he has helped shape how people view overcoming obstacles while finding a path to true career happiness.
Dates & Places:
Boothwyn, PA (CAADC) – March 21
Darby, PA – March 22, 10 am-12pm
Special Class on Building Resumes:
Delaware County Community College, Media, PA, March 23, 1-2 pm
Call for more info: 484-656-1018
Join in on the adult career online education topics and networking in March 2023 at the Great Careers Groups (GCG). Visit the EVENTS page to register for our Zoom and in-person events. Connect on social media and subscribe to our weekly newsletter.
Over 40 events in March, including the following topics:
- Analyze Headlines for LinkedIn, Emails, and Blogs
- Applicant Tracking System
- Career Pivoting
- Criminal Record Management
- Education & Financial Aid
- Executive Networking
- Career Fair
- Job Search Strategies
- Job Support
- Graphic Design
- Recruiter on Call with Jobs
- Resume Writing
- Social Media
Any GCG meeting with a $5 fee is free for unemployed veterans by arranging in advance that you want to attend – [email protected].
Understanding the COMPACT Act
Preventing Veteran suicide is VA’s top clinical priority – As of January 17, Veterans in acute suicidal crisis are able to go to any VA or non-VA health care facility for emergency health care at no cost – including inpatient or crisis residential care for up to 30 days and outpatient care for up to 90 days. Veterans need not be enrolled in the VA system to use this benefit.
The PACT Act and your VA Benefits
The PACT Act is a new law that expands VA health care and benefits for Veterans exposed to burn pits, Agent Orange, and other toxic substances. This law helps us provide generations of Veterans—and their survivors—with the care and benefits they’ve earned and deserve. The expansion of VA benefits and service eligibility is massive. There are three paths you should consider when applying for toxic exposure benefits:
- Apply for VA compensation benefits. Call 1-800-MyVA411 to get started.
- Are you enrolled in VA health care? If not, enroll.
- Join toxic exposure registries.
To help you navigate your earned benefit and resources, VA created the Accessing PACT Act Benefits and Services map. Download it, share it, follow it.
Visit www.va.gov/PACT to get answers to your questions about what the PACT Act means for you or your loved ones.
Camp Lejeune Lawsuits: Understand Your Rights and Options for Health care, Benefits
The Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022 allows people exposed to contaminated water at Camp Lejeune to file new lawsuits. Veterans and family members who believe they were exposed to contaminated water at Camp Lejeune between August 1, 1953, and December 31, 1987, should contact VA to understand their options for health care and benefits.
View and Download Your VA Decision Letters
If you’ve filed a VA disability claim and are awaiting a decision letter, you can access it online once it’s ready. Veterans with a VA.gov sign-in can use this online option to access your disability decisions whenever you need them. No need to store hard copies or request reprints from VA.
Latest News from VISN 4
2022 Annual ReportWe are pleased to share the 2022 annual report for VA Healthcare-VISN 4. Over the past year, we implemented the PACT Act, began a new hiring and onboarding initiative, and completed the modernization of our clinical contact center. We also expanded virtual care, enhanced our commitment to suicide prevention, embraced whole health, and continued our journey to become a high-reliability organization. We continue to provide exceptional health care, and our recent trust score of 93.5 is the highest of any VISN in the country.Visit the VISN 4 website to download our annual report and all individual medical center annual reports from across our network.