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Q: I am considering applying for admission to an Illinois Department of Veteran Affairs Veterans nursing home. I understand there is usually a waiting period before admission. How do I apply for admission and how long of a wait should I expect?

A: Waiting times vary at the IDVA homes in Quincy, Anna, LaSalle and Manteno. Waiting times also vary depending on the level of care that the veteran has upon admission. Domiciliary care units at the Quincy home are independent living units, and there is little or no waiting time to gain admission. At Anna, the waiting time is about seven weeks. The waiting time for skilled nursing units at Anna is 13 weeks, LaSalle zero weeks, Manteno 12 weeks and Quincy four weeks. Contact IDVA representative Chris Grant at the National Guard Armory on South Main Street in Bloomington.

Q: I am in receipt of service-connected disability and have neurological and mental health issues including mobility and balance. Does the VA provide service dogs to assist a veteran like me? How do I get more information about the service dogs and the VA?

A: Service dogs have been an important part of VA services to veterans with a variety of problems including mental health issues, blindness, balance and mobility. The VA refers veterans to accredited service dog organizations. The VA Mental Health Mobility Service Dog Initiative authorizes veterinary health insurance benefit for service dogs of veterans with chronic mobility limitations associated with a mental health disorder.

VA provides the veterinary health insurance benefit to eligible veterans with service dogs obtained from certified service dog training organizations, when it is determined that a trained service dog is the optimal means for the veteran to manage the impairment and live independently.

Contact the VA Prosthetics and Sensory Aids section at your VA health care facility for more information. The VA does not pay for boarding, grooming, food or any other routine expense associated with owning a dog.

Free dental clinics

Hershey Plaza Dental Center will conduct a free Dentistry Day to give back to the community. The event will be 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Nov. 11 at Hershey Plaza Dental Center, 507 N. Hershey Drive, Suite D, Bloomington. Cleaning, filling or extraction services will be provided. Patients will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. Call 309-664-2288.

Bloomington Modern Dentistry will have a free dental clinic on Nov. 11 at its office, 2817 Reed Road, Bloomington. Cleaning and some restorative services based on the doctor’s recommendation will be offered. Appointments can be made at www.illinoisdentistsalute.org or by calling 309-662-5921.

Did you know?

For nearly 2½ centuries, the U.S. Navy has had a storied history and proven itself in war and peacetime. The Navy was established on Oct. 13, 1775, when the Continental Congress hoped that a small fleet of privateers could attack British commerce and offset British sea power during our Revolution.

Two years after the war, Congress sold off the last ship of the Continental Navy, the frigate Alliance. However, in March 1794, Congress responded to increased possibilities of attacks by European powers and pirates by calling for the construction of a half-dozen frigates. Congratulations to all those brave men and women who have served in our Navy, protecting our country and our way of life!

Veterans Corner publishes Monday. It is written by the McLean County Veterans Assistance Commission, 200 W. Front St., Bloomington, IL 61701; call 309-888-5140.

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