Westport Vets Newsletter

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The newsletter for - and about - local veterans and events!

This monthly electronic newsletter - delivered right to your email inbox - shares updates on veterans’ benefits, veteran-related events in the area, photos from local events, and more. Occasionally I will send a special edition to notify subscribers of special events or time-sensitive information.

I hope to feature a Westport veteran in each issue, and I would love to share your story. I also welcome any suggestions for future issues, so please feel free to submit any ideas you have.

Please feel free to contact me at 508-636-1028 or freitasc@westport-ma.gov with any comments, suggestions, or corrections.

Signing up is easy and your personal information will not be shared. You can sign up here. You do not have to be a Westport veteran - or even a veteran - to sign up. Information can be of benefit to anyone who is a veteran or knows a veteran.

View past issues by clicking on the appropriate link:

September 2023 - Read about upcoming events! Also information on the deadline to apply for VA health care for certain Post-9/11 combat veterans and a new "elective option" for Camp Lejeune water lawsuits.

July 2023 - View the Westport 4th of July parade! Also, information on veterans' property tax abatement applications that are due by March 30, 2024, and upcoming events.

June 2023 - Memorial Day events videos. Free Military Lifetime Pass to National Parks, deadline for PACT Act claims with retroactive date of August 10, 2022 (with recap of the changes to benefits), and upcoming events.

March 2023Upcoming Events! New VA Life Insurance program and 2nd chance to enroll in SBP for military retirees.

November/December 2022 - An expression of gratitude from the Westport VSO! Information about the Veteran's Christmas Food Basket distribution, listing of various benefits shared throughout 2022 in past issues of this newsletter, and pictures from some of the town's Veterans Day events.

October 2022 - This issue has links to the Vet Talks series and to the Military and Veteran discounts page on this website. There is also information about the numerous events taking place in Westport for Veterans Day.

September 2022 - Introducing Vet Talks, a series of informational sessions about veterans benefits. Also included is information on the Camp Lejeune Justice Act, which allows veterans and their family members who became sick from the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune to file a lawsuit against the US government.

August 2022Summer is almost over and what a busy one it has been here in the Westport Veterans office. In this issue you can view pictures of the Westport Veterans Monument, read about the SPEED and PACT Acts and get details on the next Veterans Cookout in September.

March 2022 - Spring has sprung! Here’s to lots of warm and sunny days to come! In this issue read about some upcoming events being planned, pending legislation regarding burn pit exposure, the VSO's new schedule at the Council on Aging, Westport's Memorial Day activities, and getting prescriptions through the VA.

February 2022 - It's February! In this issue, read about some of the many holidays in February, important information about tax scams and what to look out for, how to save money with prescription discount cards, 20 mobile apps for veterans and military members, and the conclusion to the VA Community Care program.

January 2022 - (A Belated) Happy New Year and Welcome 2022! In this issue, read about some of the accomplishments of the Veterans' Service Office in 2021, a Veterans Day recap, how VA Community Care works with urgent and emergency care at non-VA facilities, the new "Veteran Finder" app to help you find your service buddies, the expanded Home Depot military discount, and how you can access your immunization record on the State's website.

October 2021 - Goodbye September Hello October! In this issue, read about COVID booster shots at the VA, a now-resolved issue regarding property tax exemptions for certain disabled veterans, the VA's Individual Unemployability benefit, and download some informational flyers on different veterans' benefits. You can also visit the Calendar of Events page to see some upcoming events related to the miltary/veteran community. This issue also pays homage to the veterans we lost in September - may they Rest In Peace.

August 2021 - We are in the hazy, hot, & humid days of August. In this issue you can read about many some of the things going on here in Westport - including a new feature in the Veterans Day ceremony, update on the Veterans Monument, Veterans Apprection Day cookout, property tax exemptions, and the VSO's outreach at the Council on Aging. Also included is information on where residents can get a COVID vaccine.

July 2021 - Welcome to the second half of 2021! Life is starting to return to pre-COVID normal and events are taking place again. This issue contains a link to a Calendar of veteran/military related events. Also included is a new feature called "From the Commander's Desk" in which information from each of the three Westport Veterans' organizations is shared, along with information about a unique Massachusetts financial assistance program for low income veterans and their eligible family members called Chapter 115, and information on how to obtain a Veteran ID Card through the VA.

June 2021In this issue you will find links to Westport's Memorial Day events videos and information on the Town's 4th of July Parade. There is also information on the Department of Transitional Assistance's Healthy Incentives Program (HIP), an additional benefit added to your SNAP benefits that can be used at local farms.

May 2021May is Military Appreciation Month! Did you know that there are quite a few military holidays sprinkled throughout the month of May in addition to Memorial Day? See a list of them in this issue, along with information about the Fall River Vietnam Memorial Wall, Westport's Memorial Day weekend events, and information on an exciting new project that the VSO is working on - building a monument that honors ALL of Westport's veterans!

April 2021 - In this issue you can find out about how the American Rescue Plan benefits veterans; read about the VA's new text notification system - VANotify; and learn about a new option for newly discharged veterans who are requesting a review of their discharge.

Spring 2021 - Westport Vets ... One Year In. In this issue we take a brief look back at the first year of publication and invite readers to complete a survey on their satisfaction with past issues and what they would like to see in future issues. There is also some important information on Agent Orange updates, the availability of the COVID vaccine through the Providence VAMC, as well as scams to be aware or.

COVID Vaccine - In this special issue you will find the latest (as of Feb 22, 2021) information regarding COVID vaccine availability through both VA and non-VA sources.

Winter 2020 - Sending Warm Winter Wishes. In this issue you will learn about some VA updates, find information about the three veterans organizations in Westport, read about two books written by Massachusetts veterans, and get the scoop on some local and national businesses that provide year-round military discounts.

Fall 2020 - Ah ... Autumn! This issue contains information on Medicare's open enrollment for Parts C & D

Summer 2020 - Ready. Set. Summer! This issue contains information on the VA's reopening of VAMCs and CBOCs as well as information on disability claims processing.

COVID-19 Update - Information about special shopping hours, banking hours, RMV hours, and how to contact the VSO during the Town Office closure.

Spring 2020 - Welcome! I hope you enjoy this inaugural issue. What better time to launch a new project than Spring, a time for rebirth when the flower buds start appearing and the birds start singing.