Many veterans are getting frustrated and disillusioned with the VA claims process. The Service Officers here in Clallam County are trying their best to help veterans asking for assistance; however, the Seattle Regional Office currently has a backlog of more than 23,000 claims and the VA as a whole has more than 900,000 claims pending.
Claims may take 1½ to 2 years from start to finish. For appeals it is a 3- to 7-year process. To inquire about a claim status, you can call the VA at 800-827-1000 or make an inquiry online at https://iris.cushelp.com.
If you have questions regarding something you recently received from the VA, contact the Seattle Regional Office at 509-434-7750. Please let your elected representatives know that this is an unacceptable situation.
Help is here
The Horses For Heroes Program is available in Sequim. Yvette TwoRabbits L is a certified Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship instructor at the Native Horsemanship Riding Center at 398 Taylor Cutoff Road.
This summer she is offering the program free to any disabled veteran. If the veteran has a therapist, he or she is welcome to attend.
Yvette also is certified in Equine Facilitated Learning and Psychotherapy. For veterans in severe need, she is partnered with Peninsula Behavioral Health. For questions or to sign up for the program, call 582-0907.
To learn more about the national program, search: Horses For Heroes.
This program was developed to help veterans with PTSD, TBI and other physical wounds sustained in combat.
The American Legion is a growing presence on the peninsula. On June 14, Department Commander Jake Cabuag presented the charter and installed the officers of Elwha Post 121. Jerry Charles is the Post Commander. The Forks Post was chartered several months ago.
Post 121 is the fourth active Native American Post in the Department of Washington. Charles also is the Third District Commander and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
There is a Legion riders group at Post 29 in Port Angeles. Please consider joining a post and helping veterans and their families through the American Legion programs.
The last weekend in June the Marine Corps League Department of Washington held its state convention at the Little Creek Casino near Shelton.
Dan Abbott was elected Commandant for the Department of Washington, Mark Schildknecht was appointed Sergeant at Arms and Tom Flanik was reappointed and installed as Adjutant Paymaster.
All are members of the local Mount Olympus Detachment #897 of the Marine Corps League. Those interested in learning more about the Marine Corps League can contact Schildknecht at 582-0271.
Congratulations to Dan, Mark and Tom!
Contributors: DAR, Regent, Joyce Stroeher, email@example.com; American Legion and MOAA, Lorri Gilchrist, firstname.lastname@example.org; VFW Commander Roger Padie, email@example.com; Marine Corps League, Terry Roth, firstname.lastname@example.org; Korean War Veterans, Jerry Rettela, email@example.com; Fleet Reserve Association, Tom Flanik, firstname.lastname@example.org.