11-08-2018 Letters and Commentary

Helping veterans and active duty military members Every year on Veterans Day, we honor the people who risk their lives to protect our freedom. Social Security honors veterans and active duty members of the military every day by giving them the respect they deserve. Social Security’s disability program is an important part of our obligation to wounded warriors and their families. For military members who return home with injuries, Social Security is a resource they can turn to. If you know any wounded veterans, please let them know about Social Security’s Wounded Warriors website. You can find it at www.socialsecurity.gov/ woundedwarriors. The Wounded Warriors website answers many commonly asked questions, and shares other useful information about disability benefits, including how veterans can receive expedited processing of disability claims. Benefits available through Social Security are different than those from the Department of Veterans Affairs and require a separate application. The expedited process is used for military service members who become disabled while on active military service on or after October 1, 2001, regardless of where the disability occurs. Even active duty military who continue to receive pay while in a hospital or on medical leave should consider applying for disability benefits if they’re unable to work due to a disabling condition. Active duty status and receipt of military pay doesn’t necessarily prevent payment of Social Security disability benefits. Although a person can’t receive Social Security disability benefits while engaging in substantial work for pay or profit, receipt of military payments should never stop someone from applying for disability benefits from Social Security. Social Security is proud to support veterans and active duty members of the military. Let these heroes know they can count on us when they need to take advantage of their earned benefits. Our web pages are easy to share on social media and by email. Vonda VanTil is the Public Affairs Specialist for West Michigan. You can write her c/o Social Security Administration, 3045 Knapp NE, Grand Rapids MI 49525 or via email at vonda.vantil@ssa.gov.

THANKS FOR YOUR SERVICE… November 11 is Veterans Day; the day America sets aside to honor all its veterans of all branches of military service. It’s a certainty that a family member or friend has worn the uniform of the armed forces of the United States of America. They didn’t wear it for the badges and medals; they wore it to serve our country in war and peace. When you see them, especially this Veterans Day, thank them for their service. And to the Veterans reading this… Thank You for your service. Since Veterans Day, November 11, is on a Sunday this year, local services are being held on Friday and Saturday, see the front page of the Record for the date, times and location of the events.

DRUG PROBLEM… A reader of last week’s Record observed an error in a headline last week. It should have been “arrests made in Lawrence meth raid”, not in Hartford meth raid. I apologize for the error and for any confusion it may have caused. The reader also observed that some folks were concerned about the Record’s coverage of pot issues and marijuana. There was also a perceived impression that I was picking on Hartford. I have no preconceived notion of any illicit activity in any community. My reporters and I cover the news as it occurs and is reported to us, through public meeting coverage, news tips, and contacts with the local police departments, the Berrien and Van Buren County Sheriff’s Departments and the Michigan State Police. Those of you that have heard my explanation of the Tri-City Record’s “news hole” know… the Record seeks to cover all the news that occurs in the Tri-City Area, which basically is comprised of the communities that are included in the Coloma, Hartford and Watervliet School districts. That includes the city and township governments and the three school boards. All the “police news” sent to