The Veterans Administration (VA) is once again under fire, this time after reports surfaced that a bottleneck at the national archives is delaying benefits claims for 32,00 military veterans. COVID-19 has shut down the National Personnel Records Center, for months. After briefly reopening at low capacity, it has once again shut down except for limited emergency requests. A veteran must get a certified copy of their service record in order to file a claim for benefits, and they are currently unable to do so. Veterans who left the service after 2000 likely have digital archives that can be accessed easily. However, older veterans need to get a photocopy of paper records. That means an archivist must sift through 60 million records and try to find the proper documentation.
Dr. Hugo Ferlito saw over a year of work come to fruition as he opened his free dental clinic with services for veterans. He will work with Dr. George Yellich, an oral surgeon affiliated with Montage Health, and several other volunteer dentists. It’s not clear why the government doesn’t offer dental benefits to Veterans and Seniors have no coverage either under Medicare. “Veterans Affairs has done a really good job with medical care but it’s crazy they don’t cover dentistry,” Dr. Ferlito told The Herald. Letting oral health problems go unchecked can have severe negative consequences on your health. The office is at the Montage Wellness Center on 2nd Avenue in Marina. Funding has been provided by Monterey County Gives, Montage Health and local Rotary clubs. Montage is allowing the dental office to use the office space free of charge, and also paid for construction improvements and is paying for utilities
Happy Veterans Day! Starting today, those who have served in the US armed forces, as well as Gold Star families, will have free access to national parks for life according to a report in The New York Times.