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Widows Of Military Veterans: ?forgotten?

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From: Pentagonmaverick@aol.com [mailto:Pentagonmaverick@aol.com]

Sent: Tuesday, August 05, 2008 6:43 PM

To: Pentagonmaverick@aol.com

Subject: Widows of Military Veterans: ?Forgotten?

Widows of Military Veterans: ?Forgotten?

Robert F. Sawallesh

05 August 2008

Several months ago I attended a conference sponsored by a major military organization at Ft Bragg, NC.

Near a display booth in Fayetteville, NC two wives were talking. One the wife of a retired Marine and the other I believe the wife of an active duty Soldier. Both agreed that as wives of the military they were the "Forgotten Ones." How are military widows/widows of veterans treated? What about nursing home benefits? Let's compare Florida and Colorado. Go to the Colorado State Veterans Nursing Home at Fitzsimons. See http://www.cdhs.state.co.us/svnh/Fitzsimons.htm. For the Colorado State Veterans Nursing Homes at Fitzsimons, Florence, Homelake, Rifle, and Walsenburg admission eligibility is based on the following priority order

  1. Colorado resident veteran;

  2. Nonresident veteran;
  3. Colorado resident spouses of veterans, surviving spouses of veterans, or parents of veterans all of whose children died while serving in the armed forces of the United States. A maximum of 25% of a Colorado State Veterans Nursing Home’s residents may be in this last group.
I spoke to a representative recently at the Fitzsimons Nursing Home and married couples are eligible for admission to the nursing home even though just one was in the military service. Recently I made a brief visit to a Florida Veterans Nursing Home at Baldomero Lopez State Veterans' Nursing Home. See http://www.floridavets.org/nursing/nursing.asp. What is the admission eligibility? It is as follows: Candidates must be veterans with qualifying war or peacetime service, be a resident of Florida for one year immediately prior to applying for admission and must require long-term care in a skilled nursing facility. It appears that in Florida Veterans Nursing Homes no military widows, resident spouses of veterans, surviving spouses of veterans, or parents of veterans all of whose children died while serving in the armed forces of the United States are eligible for Florida Veterans' Homes as is done in Colorado. What about your state? Is Florida's State Legislature asleep regarding benefits for Florida's military widows, spouses of veterans, surviving spouses of veterans and parents of veterans all of whose children died while serving in the armed forces of the United States ? See http://www.leg.state.fl.us/Welcome/index.c...FTOKEN=32888293. State legislative web sites are at http://www.ncsl.org/ and State Veteran Affairs Departments are at http://www.nasdva.com/. With elections coming up politicians are now holding veteran conferences and fairs. As soon as the elections are over watch the politicians disappear. See if they are addressing veterans issues and as usual leaving out military and military retiree issues. Below are some US and International web sites that may be of interest. Note the $30,000 statement reference New Zealand. TAPS: http://www.taps.org/ : " When the unthinkable happens to America’s military families and a loved one is taken by war, illness, accident, or suicide – there’s an organization uniquely designed to meet their needs." Surviving Spouses of New Zealand: http://www.veteransaffairs.mil.nz/pensions/index.html: "Payment to former POWs of Japanese - The Government has recently announced a one off ex-gratia payment of $30,000 payable to New Zealanders, both civilian and military, who were held prisoner by the Japanese during World War II. If an ex-prisoner of war has died, the surviving spouse may receive payment." War Widows Guild of Australia: http://www.womenaustralia.info/biogs/AWE0438b.htm: "The Guild began in Victoria and was founded by the late Mrs Jessie Mary Vasey CBE, OBE. Her husband, General George Alan Vasey, an army officer, commanded Australian forces in Greece and New Guinea during World War II. While on leave in 1945 he called on the widow of one of his men and was appalled at her living conditions. " Gold Star Wives of America: http://www.goldstarwives.org/: "Gold Star Wives Of America, Inc. is an organization of military widows/widowers whose spouse died while on active duty or from service connected disabilities." US War Widows Pension Claim, 1922: http://greensleeves.typepad.com/berkshires...ape_and_bl.html: "...but it is also the record of an illiterate and impoverished widow struggling unsuccessfully with government bureaucracy unmoved by her plight." War Widows of Great Britain: http://www.warwidowsassociation.org.uk/: "The War Widows Association is essentially a pressure group and exists to improve the conditions of War Widows and their dependants in Great Britain. Its work encompasses those who have suffered bereavement as a result of World War II and all conflicts since then including Iraq and Afghanistan."

Note the military news at the Observation Post at

http://blogs.tampabay.com/military/. Does your local newspaper have a military blog?


"Keep on, Keepin' on"

Dan Cedusky, Champaign IL "Colonel Dan"

See my web site at:


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