Monday, April 22, 2024


There really is no conclusion to the VA Health topic. As previously stated, I would like to see every Veteran in Lake County enrolled in VA health care. I say that as the Lake County VSO, but as a Veteran I would like to see every Vet­eran, regardless of residence, enrolled. Too am­bitious? Maybe, but we need to have ambitious goals to accomplish amazing things.

A few last words, for now, about the advantages of this underrated benefit. VA Emergency Med­ical Care: If you are experiencing a medical emergency and believe your life or health is in danger, then call 911 or go to the nearest emer­gency room or department immediately. Veterans enrolled in VA health care should contact VA’s Centralized Emergency Care Reporting Cen­ter within 72 hours of the emergency care. VA should cover the cost of the emergency treatment.

Report the emergency treatment by calling 844-724-7842 or by going online at emergency­carereporting.communitycare.va.gov  

There seems to be a misconception about be­ing a Veteran and receiving Veterans benefits. Very few benefits are retroactive. Veterans must submit the appropriate applications or forms be­fore the VA will consider granting these benefits. You must first be enrolled in VA health care before you can use the benefit.

Please do not wait until after you need it, apply for VA health care today. Apply by phone at 877-222-8387, online at va.gov/health-care/apply/ap­plication/introduction, in person at nearly VAMC or clinic, or contact your CVSO.

I have a few thoughts to share regarding Veter­an Homelessness and Veteran Suicide Prevention. The purpose of my articles is to inform, and I at­tempt to do so with minimal opinion. I am aware that life is a two-way street, and I am just as respon­sible as the next person. Please forgive me as my frustration spills over.

Out of sight, out of mind is not acceptable when a human being is involved. Advertising and social media campaigns claiming success (talking) is not the action necessary to provide a Veteran sustain­able housing nor is it stopping the unnecessary death of a Veteran.

Living in a rural area often results in “out of sight, out of mind”. I hope these few words and future actions will bring these issues out of the shadows. We are just as important as those liv­ing in more populated areas. I will be looking for realistic solutions, as well as other passionate individuals willing to act.

Brad Anderson and Melissa Crandall are the Lake County Veterans Service Officers and can be reached at 218.834.8326 or cvso@co.lake.mn.us  

Karen Christianson is the Cook County Veterans Service Officer and can be reached at 218.387.3639, or karen.christianson@co.cook.mn.us

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