Jim Alton's October Veterans Affairs column: Remember our Veterans this holiday season
Each month, Emmet County Veterans Affairs Director Jim Alton writes a column that is published in the Petoskey News-Review. Below is his October 2014 piece.
For past columns, click here
It will be Christmas time again very soon!
I know, I know, we have not had summer yet, but Christmas will not wait! Our troops around the world will certainly be looking forward to getting something in the mail (anything) and in order to get it there in a timely fashion, we need to start thinking of them and what to send. In our office, we need names and addresses of our men and women who are serving out of country. If you have an address, please call our office or send an e mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
We get request from area organization who want to bless our troops, but we can’t do that without names and addresses. Our web site has a list of items to send and what not to send, check it out here: www.emmetcounty.org/VA/
If you have questions, please call our office at (231) 348-1780. On another related note, the Marine Corps League will be kicking off the Toys for Tots program in Emmet County soon , so I would ask that you keep that in mind also.
Agent Orange update
I would like to remind everyone who served in Vietnam or the DMZ in Korea 1969/1970 and aboard ships close to shore (and anywhere that Agent Orange was handled) to make sure you have contacted our office for consultation with regard to the health risk you may be facing. It’s still taking a heavy toll after all these years on our veterans.
Veterans Affairs web site
If you have not had the occasion to visit our Web site recently, you might just want to take a look and see a list of our local men and women who have served this country and their stories. We are honored that these veterans consent to an interview with our county communications director Beth Eckerle and freelance writer Tamara Stevens, who do a wonderful job of bring out “old memories” of times past.
Go to www.emmetcounty.org/VA/ and scroll down to “Veterans’ stories” to access past features. If you know of a veteran who served recently or long ago and who has a story to tell, please call our office at (231) 348-1780. We would appreciate hearing about those who live around us who have experiences to share, young or old, male or female. In particular, we are looking for WWII veterans as well to tell their stories of the Greatest Generation.
New Montgomery GI Bill rates released
The VA updates payment rates for the Montgomery GI Bill each year to help match the cost of inflation. The 2015 MGIB rates were increased starting Oct. 1, 2014. Visit the web site below for a full disclosure of the new rates: http://themilitarywallet.com/montgomery-gi-bill-rates/
Pellston Veterans Memorial
You can still purchase a brick for the Pellston Veterans Memorial that was recently unveiled. Honor a family member or friend. For information about how to donate, visit www.pellstonmi.com/vmp.html
On the web site, the Village writes, “The residents of Pellston have always been a patriotic people. We all know or are related to someone who has served in our armed services. Many have seen combat or have given their lives for our country.”
Pellston’s Downtown Development Association has matched this project dollar for dollar. If anyone would like to donate, you may do so to the Pellston Veteran’s Memorial Fund at any Citizens National Bank.
Veterans Day is fast approaching on Nov. 11; this would be a great way to do something special for your favorite veteran.
Land of the free because of the Brave! Semper Fi
Jim Alton is the Director of the Veterans Affairs Department within Emmet County. Alton served in the United States Marine Corps (1955-62) and is retired from the Michigan State Police. Reach him or his assistant, Rick Wiertalla, at (231) 348-1780 or email@example.com