2021 Mobile Homeless Veterans Stand Down

Maine Bureau of Veterans' Services (MBVS) co-hosted three Mobile Homeless Veterans Stand Downs in Caribou, Bangor, and Lewiston and assisted a total of 35 veterans. The VA Maine Healthcare System CBOCs, Veterans Benefits Administration, Vet Center Mobile Unit, VFW, Maine Veterans in Need, Veterans Inc., Preble Street, Easterseals Maine, Volunteers of America Northern New England, Sports Clippers,  Department of Labor CareerCenters, Operation: Brotherhood, Elks Lodge, and 
VETS Trailers participated in the events and helped make them a success.

Stand down services included connection to benefits; the distribution of cold weather clothes, boots, and gear; non-perishable food items, a hair cut, and lunch. Timothy Borland (VFW Senior-Vice Commander in Chief) attended the Lewiston event to show his support and lend a hand throughout the day, and Operation Brotherhood distributed non-perishable food items to veterans.

Maine Veterans' Home Bangor receives National
Gold Quality Award

Congratulations to the Maine Veterans’ Home in Bangor which was recognized as a 2021 recipient of the Gold – Excellence in Quality Award for superior performance in the long-term and post-acute care profession.

MVH Bangor reports, "In recognition of the highest levels of quality, the award is the final step in three progressive levels of awards through the American Health Care Association/National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL) National Quality Award Program. The program recognizes organizations that meet rigorous standards and serve as models of excellence in providing high-quality long-term and post-acute care.

"Earning the Gold - Excellence in Quality Award requires a skilled nursing center or assisted living community to first achieve the Bronze - Commitment to Quality and Silver - Achievement in Quality awards before applying for the Gold level—an accomplishment that takes several years. In addition, applicants must meet the core values and criteria of the Baldrige Performance Excellence Program. This organizational improvement tool focuses on specific management areas, including leadership, customer and staff satisfaction, strategic planning, and more. 

"MVH Bangor, the third of six MVH Homes to be awarded the Gold – Excellence in Quality from AHCA/NCAL, joins MVH Scarborough (2016) and MVH Machias (2018) in achieving this award. These MVH Homes are three of only 49 organizations nationwide to reach the Gold level of Excellence status in 25 years, and are the only ones in Maine." 

Induction Ceremony

MBVS co-hosted the Aides-de-Camp gathering at Camp Chamberlain on October 6. Eleven veterans representing all branches of military services, as well as two members of Gov. Mills’ cabinet who are veterans – Public Safety Commissioner Mike Sauschuck and Corrections Commissioner Randy Liberty – were inducted into the Aides-de-Camp program at Camp Chamberlain by Mills and Major General Douglas Farnham, Commissioner of the Maine Department of Defense, Veterans and Emergency Management.

The newly appointed veterans came together for the first time, provided introductions, received certificates, and were briefed on the Mobile Homeless Veterans Stand Down, suicide prevention efforts, the Maine Veterans’ Dental Program, and other veteran related issues.

The Aides-de-Camp inductees included: MAJ David Hassen, Augusta; SGT Jessica Brennan, Farmington; CSM Gretchen Evans, Brunswick; COL Lori Sussman, Windham; MAJ Brenda Pennels, Scarborough; SFC Jerry DeWitt, New Gloucester; LT Scott Hanson, Yarmouth; PO3 James Bachelder, Acton; SGT Craig Florey, Kenduskeag; CPL Gary Bies, Lincoln;
and LT Whitney McKay, Eliot. 

There was a lot of enthusiasm in the room and MBVS
can foresee interacting with the Aides on specific veterans issues that hold personal interest to them, e.g. Substance Abuse Disorder, homelessness, transitioning out of the military
and back into the civilian workforce, female veterans’ issues, and student veterans.

Do You Owe Money to the
VA for Overpayment of
VBA Benefits?

VA's Debt Management Center resumed sending debt notification letters on October 1, 2021. If you owe money to
VA for an overpayment related to VBA benefits, here is what
you need to know.

VA automatically deferred collection on VBA benefit debts created on or after April 6, 2020, through September 30, 2021, to provide relief from the COVID-19 pandemic. Benefit debts created prior to April 6, 2020, had collection deferred upon request. VA also paused all collection activity on debts under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Department of the Treasury until September 30, 2021.

Most VBA benefit debts are collected by the VA Debt Management Center (DMC). This includes debts for benefits, like compensation, pension and education. If VBA created a debt for you while collection was deferred, you likely received informational letters from DMC letting you know your debt existed, but you didn’t need to act until after September 30 unless you chose to do so.

For more information on resumption of debt collection, check out the latest information on https://blogs.va.gov/VAntage/95184/debt-management-center-what-you-need-to-know-about-vba-debts-and-debt-relief/

What's Happening

November 9
- Veterans Day Book Talk, "In the Shadow of a Mountain," with Dr. Susan Daigneault recounting her father, 
 Lt. Edward C. Dahlgren, WWII experiences and subsequent struggles with PTSD at Noble High School (388 Somersworth Rd. North Berwick) from 6:00 - 7:00 p.m.

November 11 - Veterans Day Observance Waldoboro
Historical Society at 10:30 a.m. 

November 11 - 13th Annual Bangor Area Rotary Veterans
Day Pancake Breakfast at Jeff's Catering
(15 Littlefield Road in Brewer) from 7:00 a.m. - 10:00 a.m.
November 13 - 8th Annual Veterans Day 5K Road Race at the Elks Lodge in Wells, ME from 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.



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