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Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 454 will host a Feb. 15 fundraiser to benefit the Special Olympics Summer Games at Illinois State University.

The fundraiser will be at the Post on Lincoln Street, Bloomington, and will include live music from the local band, The Bygones. The pop-up chicken shop will offer fish or chicken dinners. There will be no cover charge, but donations will go to the fundraiser. Food and music begin at 7:30 p.m. and run until 10:30 p.m.

Q: I am applying for a VA health card. Part of the process requires me to attach a copy of my DD 214 to VA Form 10-10EZ, Application for VA Health Care, when I send in my application. I filed my DD 214 in the recorder’s office in another county when I separated from the military and I am unable to find my own copy. Will I be charged a fee to get a copy of my own DD 214?

A: Illinois statute 330 ILCA 70/2 (Ch. 116, Par. 30) Section 2 states, “Whenever a copy of any public record is required by any accredited Veterans Organization, the Department of Veterans’ Affairs, the Veterans Administration, the Veteran or his dependent in connection with a claim for benefits, the official charged with the custody of such public record shall without charge provide accredited Veterans Organization, the Department of Veterans’ Affairs, the Veterans Administration, the Veteran or his dependent, with a certified copy of the requested record.” The National Personnel Records Center (NPRC) in St Louis is also a source to acquire the record simply by completing a Standard Form 180 (SF 180) Request for Military Document form and sending it to the NPRC. Contact your Veterans Assistance Commission office for assistance at 309-888-5140.

ONLINE EVENT

The VA will host a #ExploreVA Facebook Live event presentation, "VA Programs to End Homelessness," from 2 to 3 p.m. EST Tuesday. Join the VA and Vietnam Veterans of America as they discuss support VA offers, such as programs to help homeless veterans secure permanent housing, and how you can help to end veteran homelessness. Following the video, representatives will answer questions and provide resources in the comments section.

Q: I am a veteran who lives in a rural area where access to VA health care is inconvenient due to distance from a VA facility. What is the VA doing to provide care for veterans who live in rural areas?

A: The new VA Community Base Outpatient Clinic (CBOC) is scheduled to open in Bloomington in October. This CBOC will serve parts or all of six different mostly rural counties. Additionally, technology is being used by the VA to make health care more accessible to rural and other non-served areas. Through telehealth technology, many veterans can access diagnostic, case management and specialty care. The VA Video Connect application is available on mobile devices or personal computers. For more information, visit www.telehealth.va.gov.

DID YOU KNOW?

The VA has a Disabled Veterans Outreach Program (DVOP). DVOPs are state employees that cover all Illinois Department of Employment Security offices and American Job Centers. DVOP specialists receive federally mandated training at the National Veterans Training Institute. DVOPs provide Intensive Employment Services utilizing a case management approach for Veterans with Significant Barriers to Employment (SBE) — which includes age, VA-Service-connected Disability Rating, Homelessness, Recent Military Discharge combined with at least 27 weeks of unemployment, formerly Incarcerated, lack of GED or High School Diploma, and living at or below the Poverty Level — to assist them in obtaining their employment goal. DVOP Specialist attend Stand-Downs/Stand Ups and Veterans’ Resource Fairs to identify Veterans with SBE’s and inform them of employment services available at the IDES Office/American Job Center.

Vogler is superintendent of the McLean County Veterans Assistance Commission.