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WHO WE ARE HONORING AT THE 2022 BLUE CHRISTMAS?
The Traill County VSO along with the Hatton American Legion and Auxiliary will be hosting the 2022 Blue Christmas Veterans Remembrance Service. This Service is to honor all of the Traill County Veterans who have passed away in 2022. The Hatton American Legion Auxiliary has been lovingly creating keepsake ornaments to place on the tree during the Blue Christmas Ceremony. The 24 Veterans that will be honored at the 2022 Blue Christmas are as follows:
- Larry Aasen-Army;
- David John Anderson-Army;
- Duane Anderson-National Guard;
- Robert Stanley Arnold-Navy;
- Wayne Joseph Bahl-Army;
- Gary Allen Christians-Army;
- Don V. Eberhardt-Army;
- Arlen Gary Eggen-Army;
- John Miles Enger-Army;
- Timothy George Hoff-Army;
- Allan Henry Holt-Army;
- Myron Eral Gunderson-Army;
- Donald L. Jacobson-Army;
- James Lande-Army;
- Maynard Mattern-Navy;
- Duane Allen Malley-Army;
- Lynn C. Melhus-Army;
- Ordell Harold Olstad-Army;
- Paul H. Stockton-Air Force;
- John Lawrence Weber-Army;
- Milton Winger-Army;
- Robert J. Sharpe-Air Force;
- Monroe Pederson-Army;
- Jerry Lee Wright-Army
This event is open to the public and everyone is encouraged to attend. If you know a Traill County Veteran that should be honored at the Blue Christmas Service please contact the Traill County VSO office at: 701-430-7059.
WHEN: DECEMBER 6th at 7:00-8:00pm
WHERE: HATTON COMMUNITY CENTER
HOW CAN WE HONOR OUR VETERANS THIS HOLIDAY SEASON?
The Buxton-Reynolds Generation II Cloverbuds 4-H Club believes in the power of young people. They empower our young people with the skills to lead for a lifetime. They provide a research-based experience that includes a mentor, a hands-on project, and a meaningful leadership opportunity to improve the world around us. In the past, this group has made Valentine’s Day cards for our local Veterans. However, this year they have chosen a hands-on project to honor the Traill County Veterans for Christmas. 13 Cloverbud students ages 6-14 created a Holiday Tribute Display with homemade ornaments as a “little salute of thanks” to our Veterans. These dedicated hardworking 4-H members include:
- Casyn Arvidson
- Adelaide Cieplak
- Danielle Cieplak
- Cole Erdmann
- Dalton Erdmann
- Caleb Kloster
- Jared Kloster
- Levi Kloster
- Mallory Kloster
- Meghan Moch
- Michaela Moch
- Molly Moch
- Kasper Moch
HOW CAN I LEARN MORE ABOUT OUR LOCAL 4-H GROUPS?
4‑H reaches almost six million young people through our community of 100 public universities. Programs are delivered by 3,500 4‑H professionals and 500,000 volunteers. Young people experience 4‑H through school and community clubs, in-school and after-school programs and 4‑H camps. To learn more about our local Traill County 4-H programs contact 4-H leader Sara Kloster at 701-212-8108 or email at: email@example.com
WHERE CAN I VIEW OUR LOCAL 4-H HOLIDAY TRIBUTE DISPLAY?
This 4-H homemade holiday tribute will be on display at the Blue Christmas Veterans Remembrance Service on Dec 6th from 7pm-8pm at the Hatton Community Center. After December 6th you can view the 4-H Holiday Tribute Display, from Dec 7th-31st at the Hillsboro Court House.
The Blue Christmas Service is to honor all the Traill County Veterans who have passed away in 2022. It will be a time to remember and recognize the service and sacrifice of our local veterans including a symbolic tribute. This event is open to the public and everyone is encouraged to attend. If you know of a Traill County Veteran who has passed in 2022 contact the Traill County VSO office at: 701-430-7059.
WHAT: BLUE CHRISTMAS VETERANS REMEMBERANCE SERVICE & 4-H HOLIDAY TRIBUTE DISPLAY
WHEN: DECEMBER 6th at 7:00-8:00pm
WHERE: HATTON COMMUNITY CENTER/OPEN TO THE PUBLIC
HOW CAN WE HONOR OUR VETERANS THIS VETERANS DAY 2022?
1)THURSDAY, NOV 10th: A VETERANS DAY PROGRAM- will take place at the Hillsboro Event Center starting at 12:30pm.
2)THURSDAY, NOV 10th: A VETERANS DAY MUSICAL SALUTE- will be performed at the Hatton School Main Gym at 2:45pm. All Veterans and friends and family are invited for a gathering in honor of their brave service.
3)FRIDAY, NOV 11th: A VFW RIFLE VOLLEY- will commence at the Traill County Veterans Memorial outside the Hillsboro Courthouse beginning at 11:00am.
4)SUNDAY, NOV 13h: A VETERANS DAY DINNER- will be served at the Hatton Community Center from Noon-2:00pm. Hosted by the American Legion Auxiliary. All Veterans and their families are welcome.
5)NOV 6th-NOV 11th: OPERATION GREEN LIGHT- Show your support for Veterans and their families by changing one light bulb to a green bulb and share it using the hashtag#OperationGreenLight.
WHAT IS THE HISTORY OF VETERANS DAY?
Veterans Day was originally known as Armistice Day until Congress replaced “Armistice” with “Veterans” in 1954. This Day is a Federal Holiday in the United States and is observed annually on November 11th to honor the military Veterans of the United States Armed Forces.
Veterans Day is exceptional day of honor as it celebrates the service of ALL U.S. Military Veterans, while Memorial Day honors those who had died while in military service and Armed Forces Day, honors those whom are currently serving in the U.S. military and the National POW/MIA Recognition Day honors those who were a prisoner of war.
WHAT IS THE MEDAL OF HONOR?
The Medal of Honor is the United States’ highest award for military valor in action. It is authorized for any military service member who “distinguishes himself/herself conspicuously by gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his/her life above and beyond the call of duty.” To read stories about these Living Heroes please visit the Congressional Medal of Honor Society at www.cmohs.org
MEDAL OF HONOR-LIVING HEROES
- JOHN PHILIP BACA Vietnam War – U.S. Army FEBRUARY 10, 1970 QUAN LOI, PHUOC LONG PROVINCE, REPUBLIC OF VIETNAM
- DONALD EVERETT BALLARD Vietnam War – U.S. Navy MAY 16, 1968 QUANG TRI PROVINCE, REPUBLIC OF VIETNAM
- HARVEY CURTISS “BARNEY” BARNUM JR. Vietnam War – U.S. Marine Corps DECEMBER 18, 1965 OUTSIDE THE VILLAGE OF KY PHU, QUANG TIN PROVINCE, REPUBLIC OF VIETNAM
- DAVID G BELLAVIA War on Terrorism (Iraq) – U.S. Army NOVEMBER 10, 2004 FALLUJAH, IRAQ
- DWIGHT W. BIRDWELL Vietnam War – U.S. Army JANUARY 31, 1968 TAN SON NHUT AIR BASE, VIETNAM
- PATRICK HENRY BRADY Vietnam War – U.S. Army JANUARY 6, 1968 NEAR CHU LAI, REPUBLIC OF VIETNAM
- PAUL WILLIAM BUCHA Vietnam War – U.S. Army MARCH 16 – 19, 1968 NEAR PHUOC VINH, BINH DUONG PROVINCE, REPUBLIC OF VIETNAM
- EDWARD C BYERS, JR. War on Terrorism (Afghanistan) – U.S. Navy DECEMBER 8 – 9, 2012 QARGHAHYI DISTRICT OF LAGHMAN, AFGHANISTAN
- WILLIAM KYLE CARPENTER War on Terrorism (Afghanistan) – U.S. Marine Corps NOVEMBER 21, 2010 MARJAH DISTRICT, HELMAND PROVINCE, AFGHANISTAN
- TY MICHAEL CARTER War on Terrorism (Afghanistan) – U.S. Army OCTOBER 3, 2009 KAMDESH DISTRICT, NURISTAN PROVINCE, AFGHANISTAN
- BRUCE P CRANDALL Vietnam War – U.S. Army NOVEMBER 14, 1965 LANDING ZONE X-RAY, IA DRANG VALLEY, VIETNAM
- SAMMY LEE DAVIS Vietnam War – U.S. Army NOVEMBER 18, 1967 FIREBASE CUDGIL, WEST OF CAI LAY, REPUBLIC OF VIETNAM
- DREW DENNIS DIX Vietnam War – U.S. Army JANUARY 31 – FEBRUARY 1, 1968 CHAU DOC PROVINCE, REPUBLIC OF VIETNAM
- ROGER H.C. DONLON Vietnam War – U.S. Army JULY 6, 1964 NEAR NAM DONG, REPUBLIC OF VIETNAM
- JOHN J. DUFFY Vietnam War – U.S. Army APRIL 14 – 15, 1972 CENTRAL HIGHLANDS, VIETNAM
- FREDERICK EDGAR FERGUSON Vietnam War – U.S. Army JANUARY 31, 1968 HUE, REPUBLIC OF VIETNAM
- MICHAEL JOHN FITZMAURICE Vietnam War – U.S. Army MARCH 23, 1971 KHESANH, REPUBLIC OF VIETNAM
- JAMES PHILLIP FLEMING Vietnam War – U.S. Air Force NOVEMBER 26, 1968 NEAR DUC CO, REPUBLIC OF VIETNAM
- ROBERT FRANKLIN FOLEY Vietnam War – U.S. Army NOVEMBER 5, 1966 NEAR QUAN DAU TIENG, REPUBLIC OF VIETNAM
- HAROLD ARTHUR FRITZ Vietnam War – U.S. Army JANUARY 11, 1969 NEAR AN LOC, BINH LONG PROVINCE, REPUBLIC OF VIETNAM
- DENNIS M. FUJII Vietnam War – U.S. Army FEBRUARY 18 – 22, 1971 LAOS & VIETNAM
- SALVATORE AUGUSTINE GIUNTA War on Terrorism (Afghanistan) – U.S. Army OCTOBER 25, 2007 KORENGAL VALLEY, AFGHANISTAN
- FLORENT A GROBERG War on Terrorism (Afghanistan) – U.S. Army AUGUST 8, 2012 ASADABAD, KUNAR PROVINCE, AFGHANISTAN
- FRANK ALOYSIOUS HERDA Vietnam War – U.S. Army JUNE 29, 1968 NEAR DAK TO, QUANG TRANG PROVINCE, REPUBLIC OF VIETNAM
- ROBERT RONALD INGRAM Vietnam War – U.S. Navy MARCH 28, 1966 QUANG NGAI PROVINCE, REPUBLIC OF VIETNAM
- JACK HOWARD JACOBS Vietnam War – U.S. Army MARCH 9, 1968 KIEN PHONG PROVINCE, REPUBLIC OF VIETNAM
- DON JENKINS Vietnam War – U.S. Army JANUARY 6, 1969 KIEN PHONG PROVINCE, REPUBLIC OF VIETNAM
- THOMAS GUNNING KELLEY Vietnam War – U.S. Navy JUNE 15, 1969 ONG MUONG CANAL, KIEN HOA PROVINCE, REPUBLIC OF VIETNAM
- ALLAN JAY KELLOGG JR. Vietnam War – U.S. Marine Corps MARCH 11, 1970 QUANG NAM PROVINCE, REPUBLIC OF VIETNAM
- JOSEPH ROBERT KERREY Vietnam War – U.S. Naval Reserve MARCH 14, 1969 NEAR NHA TRANG BAY, REPUBLIC OF VIETNAM
- PETER CHARLES LEMON Vietnam War – U.S. Army APRIL 1, 1970 FIRE SUPPORT BASE ILLINGWORTH, TAY NINH PROVINCE, REPUBLIC OF VIETNAM
- GARY LEE LITTRELL Vietnam War – U.S. Army APRIL 4 – 8, 1970 KONTUM PROVINCE, REPUBLIC OF VIETNAM
- JAMES EVERETTE LIVINGSTON Vietnam War – U.S. Marine Corps MAY 2, 1968 DAI DO, QUANG TRI PROVINCE, REPUBLIC OF VIETNAM
- ALLEN JAMES LYNCH Vietnam War – U.S. Army DECEMBER 15, 1967 NEAR MY AN (2), BINH DINH PROVINCE, VIETNAM
- WALTER JOSEPH MARM JR. Vietnam War – U.S. Army NOVEMBER 14, 1965 VICINITY OF IA DRANG VALLEY, REPUBLIC OF VIETNAM
- JAMES C MCCLOUGHAN Vietnam War – U.S. Army MAY 13 – 15, 1969 TAM KY, NUI YON HILL, VIETNAM
- DAKOTA LOUIS MEYER War on Terrorism (Afghanistan) – U.S. Marine Corps SEPTEMBER 8, 2009 KUNAR PROVINCE, AFGHANISTAN
- HIROSHI MIYAMURA Korean War – U.S. Army APRIL 24, 1951 NEAR TAEJON-NI, KOREA
- ROBERT JOSEPH MODRZEJEWSKI Vietnam War – U.S. Marine Corps JULY 15 – 18, 1966 REPUBLIC OF VIETNAM
- MELVIN MORRIS Vietnam War – U.S. Army SEPTEMBER 17, 1969 CHI LANG, REPUBLIC OF VIETNAM
- THOMAS ROLLAND NORRIS Vietnam War – U.S. Navy APRIL 10 – 13, 1972 QUANG TRI PROVINCE, REPUBLIC OF VIETNAM
- ROBERT EMMETT O’MALLEY Vietnam War – U.S. Marine Corps AUGUST 18, 1965 NEAR AN CU’ONG 2, REPUBLIC OF VIETNAM
- ROBERT MARTIN PATTERSON Vietnam War – U.S. Army MAY 6, 1968 NEAR LA CHU, REPUBLIC OF VIETNAM
- THOMAS PATRICK PAYNE War on Terrorism (Iraq) – U.S. Army OCTOBER 22, 2015 HAWIJA, KIRKUK PROVINCE, IRAQ
- LEROY ARTHUR PETRY War on Terrorism (Afghanistan) – U.S. Army MAY 26, 2008 PAKTYA PROVINCE, AFGHANISTAN
- RYAN M PITTS War on Terrorism (Afghanistan) – U.S. Army JULY 13, 2008 VICINITY OF WANAT VILLAGE, KUNAR PROVINCE, AFGHANISTAN
- EARL D. PLUMLEE War on Terrorism (Afghanistan) – U.S. Army AUGUST 28, 2013 FORWARD OPERATING BASE GHAZNI, GHAZNI PROVINCE, AFGHANISTAN
- RALPH PUCKETT, JR. Korean War – U.S. Army NOVEMBER 25 – 26, 1950 HILL 205, VICINITY OF UNSAN, KOREA
- ALFRED V RASCON Vietnam War – U.S. Army MARCH 16, 1966 LONG KHANH PROVINCE, VIETNAM
- RONALD ERIC RAY Vietnam War – U.S. Army JUNE 19, 1966 IA DRANG VALLEY, REPUBLIC OF VIETNAM
- GORDON RAY ROBERTS Vietnam War – U.S. Army JULY 11, 1969 THUA THIEN PROVINCE, REPUBLIC OF VIETNAM
- JOSE RODELA Vietnam War – U.S. Army SEPTEMBER 1, 1969 PHUOC LONG PROVINCE, REPUBLIC OF VIETNAM
- CLINTON LAVOR ROMESHA War on Terrorism (Afghanistan) – U.S. Army OCTOBER 3, 2009 OUTPOST KEATING, KAMDESH DISTRICT, NURISTAN PROVINCE, AFGHANISTAN
- GARY MICHAEL ROSE Vietnam War – U.S. Army SEPTEMBER 11 – 14, 1970 LAOS
- CLARENCE EUGENE SASSER Vietnam War – U.S. Army JANUARY 10, 1968 DING TUONG PROVINCE, REPUBLIC OF VIETNAM
- BRITT KELLY SLABINSKI War on Terrorism (Afghanistan) – U.S. Navy MARCH 4, 2002 TAKUR GHAR, AFGHANISTAN
- JAMES MICHAEL SPRAYBERRY Vietnam War – U.S. Army APRIL 25, 1968 REPUBLIC OF VIETNAM
- WILLIAM D SWENSON War on Terrorism (Afghanistan) – U.S. Army SEPTEMBER 8, 2009 KUNAR PROVINCE, AFGHANISTAN
- JAMES ALLEN TAYLOR Vietnam War – U.S. Army NOVEMBER 9, 1967 WEST OF QUE SON, REPUBLIC OF VIETNAM
- BRIAN MILES THACKER Vietnam War – U.S. Army MARCH 31, 1971 FIRE BASE 6, KONTUM PROVINCE, REPUBLIC OF VIETNAM
- MICHAEL EDWIN THORNTON Vietnam War – U.S. Navy OCTOBER 31, 1972 REPUBLIC OF VIETNAM
- JAY R VARGAS Vietnam War – U.S. Marine Corps APRIL 30 – MAY 2, 1968 DAI DO, QUANG TRI PROVINCE, REPUBLIC OF VIETNAM
- GARY GEORGE WETZEL Vietnam War – U.S. Army JANUARY 8, 1968 NEAR AP DONG AN, REPUBLIC OF VIETNAM
- KYLE J WHITE War on Terrorism (Afghanistan) – U.S. Army NOVEMBER 9, 2007 NURISTAN PROVINCE, AFGHANISTAN
- MATTHEW O WILLIAMS War on Terrorism (Afghanistan) – U.S. Army APRIL 6, 2008 SHOK VALLEY, NURISTAN PROVINCE, AFGHANISTAN
How does the USDA Support Veterans?
According to the USDA Farm and Land in Farm Summary of 2019, the total number of U.S. farms declined by 5, 800 from 2018. Only farms in the $100,000-$249,000 sales category and the $250,000-$499,999 sales category increased while all other sales categories declined. In 2019, about 51.1% of all farms had less than $10,000 sales and 81.5% of all farms had less than $100,000 in sales. In 2019, only 7.4% of all farms had sales of $500,000 or more.
Since preparedness and defense are critical to America’s food and agriculture sectors and to sustaining and growing rural America; the U.S. Department of Agriculture is looking to military veterans across the country to fill the roles that keep America’s food supply safe and secure, preserve and strengthen rural communities, and restore and conserve the environment.
USDA wants to ensure that veterans looking for a career in farming or in a rural community have the tools and opportunities you need to succeed.
USDA’s veterans website serves as a one-stop navigator for veterans looking to learn more about employment, education, and entrepreneurship on or beyond the farm.
USDA prioritizes hiring veterans because we know that you bring a wide range of experiences and strong work ethic that USDA wants and needs across the Department.
The USDA’s Military Veteran Liaison connects returning Veterans with beginning farmer training opportunities and various agricultural vocational programs.
Contact: Jill Haakenson at (701)662-8634 for more information about Veterans in Agriculture.
To show support and honor veterans this Veterans Day holiday, Traill County Residents are encouraged to participate by simply changing one light bulb in their house to a green bulb. This can be an exterior light that neighbors can see, or an interior light that sparks a conversation with friends.
By shining a green light, we let our veterans know that they are seen, appreciated, and supported. While this event is focused around the week of Veterans Day (November 7th -13th), participants are encouraged to continue shining the light year-round. Residents can share their participation on social media using the hashtag #OperationGreenLight.
Operation Green Light is a simple way to express our collective appreciation for the public service of our veterans. Freeborn County encourages everyone to join us in displaying a green light for our veterans and to also reflect on how we, as a nation and at the county level, assist our military service personnel back into civilian life upon completion of their service to our country.
Contact your local Traill County Veterans Services Officer, at 701-430-7059 or visit naco.org/operationgreenlight for more information.
WHAT IS VA COMMUNITY CARE?
The VA provides health care for Veterans from providers in your local community outside of VA. Veterans may be eligible to receive care from a community provider when VA cannot provide the care needed. This care is provided on behalf of and paid for by VA for service connected conditions. As with care provided directly by VA, Veterans are charged a copayment for nonservice-connected care. Learn how to pay your bill and alternative payment options. In addition, VA may bill Veterans’ health insurance for medical care, supplies, and prescriptions related to treatment of nonservice-connected conditions.
Community care is available to Veterans based on certain conditions and eligibility requirements, and in consideration of a Veteran’s specific needs and circumstances. Community care MUST be first authorized by VA before a Veteran can receive care from a community provider.
In some cases, VA offers health care and services for a Veteran’s family members and dependents (beneficiaries) based on certain conditions and eligibility requirements. VA serves more than 360,000 beneficiaries through its family member and dependent health care benefit programs.
WHAT ARE THE 6 ELIGIBLITY CRITERA THAT CAN QUALIFY A VETERAN TO RECEIVE COMMUNITY CARE?
There are 6 criteria that can qualify a Veteran to receive community care. Veterans only need to meet one of these criteria to be eligible.
Criteria #1)You need a service not available at a VA medical facility:
This includes Veterans that need a specific type of care or service that the VA does not provide in-house at any of its medical facilities.
Criteria #2)You live in a State or U.S. Territory without a full-service VA medical facility: This includes Veterans that live in a U.S. state or territory that does not have a full-service VA medical facility such as: Alaska, Hawaii, New Hampshire, Guam, American Samoa, Northern Mariana Islands, U.S. Virgin Islands
Criteria #3)You qualify under the “grandfather” provision related to distance eligibility for VCP. This includes Veterans that live in one of the five states with the lowest population density from a U.S. Census:
North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana, Alaska, and Wyoming.
Criteria #4)The VA cannot provide care with certain designated access standards. If the VA is unable to schedule an appointment that is within a 30-minute average drive time for primary care, mental health, and non-institutional extended care services (including adult day health care) or a 60-minute average drive time for specialty care.
Criteria #5)It is in the Veterans BEST medical interest. A Veteran may be referred to a community provider when the Veteran and the referring clinician agree that it is in the best medical interest to see a community provider.
Criteria #6)The VA Service Line does not meet certain medical standards. If the VA has identified a medical service line is not meeting VA’s standards for quality based on specific conditions, Veterans can elect to receive care from a community provider under certain limitations.
HOW DO I SCHEDULE A COMMUNITY CARE APPOINTMENT?
Before scheduling an appointment, it is important for the Veteran to confirm with a VA staff member that they are eligible and authorized for community care. Once authorized to receive community care, the veteran can get a referral to a community care facility. VA will send the Veteran and the selected community provider a referral. VA will also send the Veteran’s medical documentation to the community provider to ensure proper care coordination between their VA care team and the community provider.
WHO CAN I CONTACT?
For questions or assistance, contact the VA Community Care Department at 1-877-881-7618 (option 1) Monday- Friday 8am-9pm EST
What is the Don’t Wait. Reach Out Campaign?
September is Suicide Prevention Month and the VA is reminding Veterans everywhere that suicide is preventable and there is hope. In 2021, the Ad Council and the Department of Veterans Affairs partnered to create the “Don’t Wait. Reach Out.” national campaign. It encourages struggling Veterans to seek help for their life challenges before they reach a crisis point. The campaign is part of the VA’s 10 year strategy to prevent Veteran suicide through a comprehensive, public health approach designed to support Veterans across a wide range of life challenges, before these problems become too overwhelming.
Why is it important to encourage Veterans to reach out before their life challenges become overwhelming?
Suicide is preventable. According to the 2021 National Veteran Suicide Prevention Annual Report, the suicide rate among Veterans is 52% higher than non-Veteran adults in the U.S. Although Veterans are trained to endure challenging situations, the crippling effects of stigma make it difficult for Veterans to reach out for help. For Veterans with mental health issues, the social stigma and discrimination they experience can make their problems worse, making it harder to recover. It may cause the Veteran to avoid getting the help they need because of the fear of being stigmatized.
What can I do to help prevent Veteran suicide?
- Learn the facts about mental illness and share them with family, friends, work colleagues and classmates.
- Get to know Veterans with personal experiences of mental illness so you learn to see them for who they are rather than their illness.
- Do not judge, label or discriminate when you meet Veterans with mental illness.
- Treat all Veterans with respect and dignity.
- Everyone can be a part of the solution by checking in with Veterans who may be going through a rough time and encouraging them to reach out if they need help.
What resources are available?
1)At https://www.va.gov/REACH/ you will find social media content on suicide prevention.
2)Visit www.ReportingOnSuicide.org for more information on how to communicate about suicide.
3)Call. If you or someone you know is having thoughts about suicide, contact the Veterans Crisis Line to receive free confidential support available 24hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Call 988 then press 1
4)Text 838255 for free confidential support from the Veterans Crisis Line.
5)Chat online at https://www.veteranscrisisline.net/get-help-now/chat/
Q: How will a toxic exposure screening help Veterans?
A: Every enrolled Veteran will receive an initial toxic exposure screening and a follow-up screening every five years. Veterans who are not enrolled, but who are eligible to enroll, will have an opportunity to enroll and receive the screening. Veterans will be asked questions about potential exposure to an open burn pit or other hazards and symptoms commonly associated with military environmental exposure. These questions will help the VA health care providers individualize health care services and improve health outcomes and patient exposure. This will also help the VA identify other potential risks for Veterans and inform them of future policy decisions.
Q: What does toxic exposure include?
A: There are 5 types of possible exposures including:
- AIR POLLUTANTS: Burn pits, oil well fires, sulfur fires, sand, dust and particulates.
- CHEMICALS: Agent Orange, other herbicides, burn pits, Camp Lejeune water supplies, pesticides, depleted uranium, chromium, and industrial solvents.
- RADIATION: Nuclear weapons testing, x-rays, and depleted uranium.
- WARFARE AGENTS: Chemical warfare agents, nerve agents, mustard gas, herbicide tests, and storage of these agents.
- OCCUPATIONAL HAZARDS: Asbestos, lead, fuels, industrial solvents, radiation, vibration, noise, special paint on military vehicles, some coolants, and insulating fluids.
Q: What is the Burn Pit Registry?
A: The VA Airborne Hazards and Open Burn Pit Registry aims to help the VA better understand potential health effects of exposure and proactively identify any health concerns that Veterans can discuss with their health car providers for follow-up care. Veterans deployed to Southwest Asia or Egypt after August 2nd 1990 or Afghanistan, Djibouti, Syria, or Uzbekistan on or after September 11, 2001, are eligible to participate in the Burn Pit Registry. Participation is voluntary and . exposure to specific airborne hazards or having related health concerns is not required to participate in the registry. Veterans can register online at: https://www.publichealth.va.gov/exposures/burnpits/registry.asp
Q: How is health care expanding to help Veterans get the VA health care that they need?
A: Health Care Eligibility is expanding to include 3 categories of Veterans who may not have been eligible before.
- CATEGORY 1: Veterans who participated in a toxic exposure risk activity (as defined by law) while serving on active duty, active duty for training, or inactive duty training.
- CATEGORY 2: Veterans who were assigned to a duty station in (including the air space above) certain locations during specific periods of time:
- On or after August 2, 1990, in Bahrain, Iraq, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, or the United Arab Emirates.
- On or after September 11, 2001, in: Afghanistan, Djibouti, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Yemen, Uzbekistan, or any other country determined relevant by the VA.
- CATEGORY 3: Veterans who deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Freedom’s Sentinel, Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation New Dawn, Operation Inherent Resolve, or Resolute Support Mission.
Q: How can a Veteran apply for this expanded VA health care?
A:There are 4 ways to apply for VA health care.
- Call the toll-free hotline at 877-222-8387 M-F 8:00am-8:00pm EST
- Apply Online at: https://www.va.gov/health-care/apply/application/introduction
- Bring a completed, signed VA Form 10-10EZ to the Fargo VA Medical Center
- Make an appointment at the Traill County Veterans Service Office 701-430-7059.
Q: How does the PACT Act connect to the Camp Lejeune Justice Act?
A: Contained in the PACT Act, Section 804, was a provision entitled the Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022 which will have a profound effect on our veterans and their dependents who suffered ill effects caused by the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune. Those who served at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune or Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) New River in North Carolina, may have had contact with contaminants in the drinking water. Medical evidence has shown an association between exposure to these contaminants during military service and development of certain medical conditions later in life.
Q: What was in the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune?
A: Two of the on-base water wells that were shut down in 1985 were found to contain the following chemicals: Trichloroethylene (TCE), Perchloroethylene (PCE), Benzene, Vinyl Chloride, and other Various Compounds.
Q: What are the medical conditions identified?
A: Aplastic Anemia, Bladder Cancer, Breast Cancer, Esophageal Cancer, Female Infertility, Hepatic Steatosis, Kidney Cancer, Leukemia, Liver Cancer, Lung Cancer, Miscarriage, Multiple Myeloma, Myelodysplastic Syndromes, Neurobehavioral Effects, Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, Renal toxicity, and Scleroderma
Q: What are the possible dates of exposure?
A: The threshold requirement is the individual(s) had to be exposed to the water at Camp Lejeune for a period of not less than 30 days at any time between August 1,1953 and December 31, 1987.
Q: What documentation is needed?
A: Documentation proving housing at Camp Lejeune or MCAS New River for at least 30 days from August 1953 through December 1987 (like utility bills, base housing records, military orders, or tax forms), and medical records with one of the medical conditions listed above (as well as the date the illness was diagnosed and current treatment or treatment in the past for the illness) And any evidence of paid health care expenses for the identified medical condition. Also, a copy of the DD214 showing that the discharge was not a dishonorable discharge.
If you have qualifying service at Camp Lejeune and a current diagnosis of one of the conditions along with the necessary documentation, please contact your local Traill County VSO Office for assistance at 701-430-7059.