New state laws benefit veterans

Nine state laws and benefits aimed at military veterans take effect Friday, including disabled veteran license plates, enrollment priority for military children and tax exemptions for veterans service organizations. The laws were enacted during the 2011 legislative session and signed by the governor, according to a press release from the state Department of Veteran’s Services. […]

Portales veterans honoring returning, deploying airmen

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Freedom New Mexico: Argen Duncan Attendees at the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 9515 “Hail and Farewell” event Friday listen to a speaker. Once a month since January, the local VFW post has been recognizing Cannon Air Force Base 27th Special Operations Support Squadron personnel who are deploying or have returned from deployment. Argen Duncan […]

‘Unfunded’ benefits can hurt vets

Through a decade of war, Congress has pumped billions of additional dollars into new benefits and programs for veterans. They deserve them, lawmakers say. Helping vets also is popular with constituents. Veterans’ service organizations have lobbied for these benefits, but with the expectation that newly authorized programs would be fully funded. Last year, even as […]

Military committee to meet in Santa Fe

CNJ staff The Legislative Interim Military and Veterans’ Affairs Committee will meet today in Santa Fe, according to a news release. The meeting will begin at 9 a.m. and adjourn at 3 p.m. The committee will set protocols, discuss their focus areas and develop a work plan for the interim session, the release said. The […]

Letters to the editor: Amarillo VA appreciates veterans

Amarillo VA appreciates veterans I wanted so much to write a negative letter to the editor about the way I have been treated by the VA Clinic here in Clovis but decided to write one instead about the treatment I have received in Amarillo In Amarillo, I was greeted in the parking lot by a […]

Combat call center online

CNJ staff A Vet Center Combat Call Center is now available to help veterans readjust to civilian life, according to a news release. 1-877-WAR VETS is an around the clock confidential call center where combat veterans and their families can call to talk about their military experience or any other issue they are facing in […]

Cost-saving proposals target VA

The House Budget Committee, chaired by Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., has told a veterans’ group it is studying a plan to save $6 billion annually in VA health care costs by cancelling enrollment of any veteran who doesn’t have a service-related medical condition and is not poor. Committee Republicans, searching for ways to curb federal […]

VA fails to meet crucial deadline

Senior Democrats and Republicans on the veterans affairs committees have joined hands to scold the Department of Veterans Affairs over missed deadlines and restrictive language drafted for implementing new benefits for caregivers of severely wounded Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans. In an unusual letter last week to President Obama, signed by both chairmen and ranking […]

Veterans may receive refunds from Wells Fargo loans

Nearly 60,000 service members and veterans who refinanced their Veterans Affairs Department mortgage loans through Wells Fargo, Wachovia and SouthTrust will receive refunds as the result of a $10 million settlement in a class-action lawsuit, a Wells Fargo official said. Wells Fargo spokeswoman Vickee Adams said there was no way of knowing how many veterans […]

Veterans museum designers seeking input

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Courtesy illustration Architect renderings of the planned New Mexico Veterans Museum, which will be one of several veteran-oriented facilities on the museum’s campus which will be located in Las Cruces. Liliana Castillo The designers of the New Mexico Veterans Museum are holding a meeting to gain input from Clovis and Portales area veterans at the […]

Chairman: Where did funds go?

Under Democratic control the last four years, the House voted to pump tens of billions of additional dollars into the Department of Veterans Affairs for improved benefits and health care. The new Republican chairman of the House Veterans Affairs Committee says it’s time to learn where a lot of those dollars went and to provide […]

New changes in store for GI Bill

Veterans using the Post-9/11 GI bill will see their monthly living stipends stopped between fall and winter semesters, starting next year, and only full time students will continue to draw stipends at the 100 percent rate. Those two cost-saving changes, plus a new $17,500 nationwide cap on Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits for students attending private […]

Students honor veterans with art

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CNJ staff photo: Liliana Castillo Marshall seventh grader Angela Pastirchak adds antlers to her reindeer Wednesday during art class. Suzan Lundy’s art classes made Christmas decorations for veterans at the Veterans Clinic. Liliana Castillo Marshall Middle School students are using art to honor veterans during the holidays. Marshall art teacher Suzan Lundy’s art classes made […]

VA to discuss changes to services

Freedom New Mexico The Veterans Admin-istration will hold a series of public meetings announ-cing discontinuation of contract care at nine VA clinics in northern New Mexico. Nine access point clinics in Embudo, Chama, Coyote, Penasco, Ribera, Roy, Springer, Truchas and Wagon Mound will be closed as of March 31 under the plan. The VA plans […]

Veteran benefits not under attack

Some of us, when we see a proposal to raise VA health care fees for a category of veteran in a report on ways to curb federal budget deficits, jump to the conclusion that veteran benefits are under fresh attack. Bernard Rostker, former under secretary of defense for personnel and now a senior fellow at […]

Holiday time for charity

Clyde Davis Before really getting into this column, I need to make a disclaimer. Either by typographical or some other error, I left readers of this column last week with the impression that my Facebook Veterans’ Day posting was not favorably received. The line should have read “many comments were positive.” Okay. Wonderful things to […]

Motorcycles lead Veterans Day parade

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CNJ staff photo: Liliana Castillo Glenn Eagle trailed a long line of motorcycles on his four-wheeler displaying a full size American flag during the Veterans Day parade Saturday. Liliana Castillo The rumble of nearly 200 motorcycles kicked off the Veterans Day parade Saturday on Main Street. Parade organizer John Montano said the parade included 26 […]

Yucca Middle School celebrates veterans

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CNJ staff photo: Liliana Castillo Yucca Principal Mitzi Estes thanks veteran Burdette Theophilus for attending the event Thursday morning. Liliana Castillo Hands leaped into the air one after another, the students eager to ask Lt. Col. Jeff Hinrichs the next question Thursday morning. He was visiting their class as part of the Veterans Day ceremony […]

Area events to honor veterans

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CNJ staff photo: Tony Bullocks A monument to honor veterans past and present will be dedicated today at Steed-Todd Funeral home. Alisa Boswell Several events are happening in Clovis and Portales this week to honor veterans. Today at Eastern New Mexico University, students and faculty will be donating supplies, letters and thank you cards with […]

Retroactive pay: Timely, complex

Tom Philpott Many Vietnam veterans with ischemic heart disease, Parkinson’s disease or B-cell leukemia expected VA compensation for their illnesses to begin soon after a 60-day congressional review period ended Oct. 30. Though the first batch of payments did go out mid-week, the relatively small number — about 1,300 claims worth $8 million — reinforced […]