Wed, Sep 20, 2017


Veterans Affairs

Please contact the First Selectman's office for information and referrals at 860-928-0208 x336.

Soldiers Sailors and Marines Fund Representative, Tom Pandolfi has office hours in the Putnam Town Hall (126 Church Street, Putnam) every Friday from 9am - 11am.  Messages for Tom can be left at 860-963-6800 x160 or on his email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. CLICK HERE to read an interesting article about Tom, who is an exemplary Woodstock citizen!


Connecticut Military Community Coalition Meeting Schedule:  Click here for the 2017 Meeting Schedule.  Please note:  The location of the September 20th meeting has been changed to Room 229 of the Armed Forces Reserve Center.


RSVP Veterans Coffeehouse 

The Veterans Coffeehouse  is located at the Killingly Community Center, 185 Broad Street, Danielson.   Please contact Greg Kline at 860-774-9286 or by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with any questions or to join his wonderful group of volunteers.

We are pleased to share the following upcoming programs info for the RSVP Veterans Coffeehouse:

  • September 19 - Laurie McElwee from Eastern Connecticut Transportation Consortium, Inc. will be speaking about their mission to promote the coordination and consolidation of para transit services for persons of low income, the elderly, and disabled individuals.
  • September 26 - Joel Neimann, who was with the 5th Bradley fighting vehicles across the border into Iraq, Operation Desert Spring, Operation Inspire Gambit 3 and Operation shock & Awe-Thunder Run, will discuss the difficulties the military faced when they returned home from the combat zone.  Joes aspires to help veterans experiencing difficulty transition to civilian life.
  • October 3 - Erin Lucas from YMCA in Putnam will talk about the wide range of services offered to the members of the community.
  • October 10 - Senator Richard Blumenthal will discuss the latest developments on veterans legislation, what his office does to assist veterans, and general updates on what is happening in Washington.
Westfield Congregational Church will host a new Evening Veterans Coffeehouse at 7:00 pm on the First Friday of each month.  Volunteers Fred Ruhlemann, Cecile Stanzione and Jenny Donais are leading this new endeavor which promises to entertain and inform.  Open to all veterans, any ages, and their guests.

The Veterans Coffeehouse is looking for guest speakers on any topics every Tuesday morning from 9:00 am till it ends.  Please email Tom Pandolfi at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Weather-related closing policy re:  RSVP and the Veteran's Coffeehouse: 

  • If the KCC (Killingly Community Center) is closed, the Veteran's Coffeehouse and RSVP office will not be open.  This usually follows announcements that the Killingly Town Hall is closed.
  • The KCC does not automatically close if the Killingly schools are closed.  Please listen to WINY Radio for announcements when there are school closings, municipal office closings, and delayed openings.
  • If TVCCA is closed, then the Coffeehouse and RSVP office will also be closed.
  • If there is to be a late opening, there will be an attempt to get WINY Radio to make an announcement regarding the Veteran's Coffeehouse and the RSVP office.  To be certain you get the correct info, please listen to WINY Radio or follow the postings on TV.


Veterans Services

VA Claims Process:  Below is some advice from other vets that have been successful navigating the VA claims process. 

The first step for a vet wanting to win a VA claim is to find a VSO (Veteran Service Officer).  These folks are experts that do not work for the VA. They are veteran's advocates that work for the VFW, DAV, American Legion, etc.  They can often be found in VA hospitals or county offices.  They will ask for a copy of you DD-214/215.

The second step is to file a claim for a presumptive disease or a non-contestable issue like tinnitus.  If the claim is not going to be automatically granted (presumptive or non-contestable), you need to have a condition that occurred in service and be able to prove it - such as gunshot wound residuals or PTSD; in short, an official diagnosis and a nexus.

A nexus or service connection is imperative.  This might be a doctor's statement that states that your condition more likely than not was the result of your service.  Perhaps the best advice is to immediately take any correspondence that you get from the VA directly to your VSO.  Trying to respond to the VA yourself can be very discouraging.  The VSO knows how to deal with VA correspondence.

After you contact a Veteran Service Officer (VSO), you can ask your Member of Congress or Senator to place a congressional flash on the claim to expedite the claim if you:

  • Can prove financial hardship (late bills)
  • Impending homelessness (notice to quit or late mortgage notice)
  • Claimant is over 88 years old
  • Former POW
  • Hospice/end of life care letter from doctor

The congressional flash and assistance from Congressman Courtney's office will ensure it is completed as fast as possible.  Please call Congressman Courtney's office at 860-886-0139 and speak with his Vet Rep to expedite a claim at the VA.


VA Pensions: The non-service connected pension is for very vulnerable veterans that live at the poverty line.  Ask a VSO for assistance with this application too.

The State of CT has two outstanding VSOs in the Norwich Office and you can reach them for consultation or make an appointment at 860-887-9162.

Online Tutoring:  The U. S. Department of Defense provides online tutoring from at no cost to DoD service members.  Eligible students can connect to a live tutor online at any time for one-to-one help with homework, test prep, proofreading and more in  40+ subjects.  Click here to learn more.

Puppies Behind Bars:  Prison inmates train service dogs for wounded veterans and explosive detection canines for law enforcement.  Click here for information.

FREE Acupuncture for Veterans and Military:   Click here for information.

Horse Feathers Veterans Program specializes in helping veterans with post-traumatic stress and/or with physical challenges.  Contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call Evelyn Bailey, Asst. Director 860-581-0902 or Jackie Mickiewicz, Coordinator 860-550-1955.

The Department of Homeland Security is hiring veterans. Click here to go to their website.

Train as a Volunteer to Help Hospice Patients:  Click here for information.

Shop Online:  Benefits Honorably Discharged Veterans.  Click here for information.

UCONN School of Business Course:  Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans with Disabilities.  Click here for information


Veterans Events

U.S. MILITARY MUSEUM, INC.  2017 Open Turret Days Schedule

Veterans Business Planning: Thompson Public Library, 934 Riverside Drive (Route 12), North Grosvenordale from August 7th - September 7th (5 weeks).  The fee is $50 (book fee) for veterans and service members, pre-registration is required.  Click here for information.

CT Recovery Walks:  The 18th annual recovery walks and celebration is Saturday, September 23 from 10am-2pm at Bushnell Park in Hartford. Music will be provided by Shaded Soul.  There will be exhibitors, speakers, arts and crafts.  Bring your own lunch and lawn chairs and enjoy the day! 

Skydive for Veterans:  The 2nd annual Freedom Jump Fundraiser will be held on September 2, 2017 (rain date is September 9th).  To sign up for the event visit  A Pre-Jump Party will be held on August 26, 2017 from 3-7pm at the Westbrook Elks Club, 142 Seaside Avenue, Westbrook, CT.  All are welcome!

Panel Discussion on Suicide in the Military and with Veterans:  Come to learn what Connecticut is doing to address the issue and what resources are available on September 15, 2017 from 8:30 am - 12 pm at Central Connecticut State University Constitution Room.  The event is free.  Please RSVP to Eileen Hurst at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 860-832-2976.







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