(158) A Goodie Bag for Veterans–Mashing Up the Best

Molly, the service dog

Golly, Miss Molly

A Blog about a Service Dog and her Veteran with PTSD

(Supporting the Veteran and the Family Caregiver)

Just like a puppy, today’s Molly Blog is all over the place. Miss Molly mashes up various topics to share with you the latest information to help Veterans. We will cover the top ten VA services for Veterans, hear about improvements in VA services, and learn about an outstanding business nominated for the Golden Paw Award.

VA’s Top Ten for 2016 

Welcoming in the New Year, the VA’s official blog offers the ten top services for Veterans. Topping the list is a guide to VA Health Benefits with an explanation of available health care services. The link covers everything from audiology to organ transplants.

Next on the list is a map of the 300 Vet Centers throughout the US that offer services to Veterans, who served in combat zones. The centers provide counseling, outreach, and referral services.

Number three on the list is a guide for Veterans and their families of the mental health services available in the VA health care system.

Helping a homeless Veteran find a home stars as No. 4 on the list with inspiring stories shared by Veterans with PTSD weighing in as No. 5.

The VA focuses on services and health care for women. These services are covered in No. 6 with the redesign of comprehensive primary care for women. These services will become even more important as women fill combat positions previously closed to them.

No. 7 on the list for 2016 reminds Veterans that they can monitor their health reports, communicate with their health care team, or request prescription refills through MyHealtheVet on-line services.

No. 8 features stop smoking and binge eating programs offered through the VA’s National Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention.

No. 9 expresses the advantages of the Veterans Crisis Line available 24/7 365 days a year at 1-800-273-8255 (press 1) or text to 838255.

Finally, the list wraps up with a PDF file of links to help Veterans. You can clip and save the list through the VA’s blog or by clicking here. 

What are the Service Improvements for Veterans? 

  1. The VA is proposing expanded disability benefits eligibility for Veterans exposed to contaminated water at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune.
  2. The Housing and Urban Development Department and the VA awarded $5.9 million to 26 tribes for permanent homes for Native American Veterans, who are without homes or at risk for homelessness. The program is designed to help 500 Native Americans.
  3. The VA modified the eligibility requirements to participate in the Veterans Choice Program, which helps expedite services to eligible Veterans unable to receive services within 30 days or live far from a VA facility. The new regulations streamline eligibility. For more information, you can call the Choice Program at 866-606-8198 or visit www.va.gov/opa/choiceact.
  4. The VA opened the Cape Canaveral National Cemetery this week and has plans for more cemeteries so that every Veteran meeting eligibility has a convenient, affordable burial option. For eligibility and other information, click here.

Golden Paw Nomination 

Miss Molly sends a bark out to Destry and Lillie for their nomination of Gunther Toody’s in Colorado Springs, Colorado, for exceptional service to a Veteran and his service animal. Gunther Toody’s not only makes accommodations to this Veteran and his service dog but the restaurant offers water and treats to Lillie, occasionally sending home this top dog with a soup bone.

High Paw to Gunther Toody’s and our thanks to Veteran Destry Loolf for making this nomination to the Molly blog!

If you would like to place a nomination for the Golden Paw Award, please fill out the following form and send it Miss Molly’s way.

Post your Comments:

What VA service(s) would you include in your top ten list? Please reply below. 

About the blogger 

Dr. Penelope “Penny” Culbreth-Graft is a retired city manager and graduate professor. She lives with her disabled Vietnam Veteran husband, William, and his service dog, Molly, on Cheyenne Mountain in Colorado. She writes, paints, cares for her husband, and spends time with her granddaughter.