Tue, Jan 23, 2018


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.


Danielson Veterans Coffeehouse 

The Danielson Veterans Coffeehouse  is located at the Killingly Community Center, 185 Broad Street, Danielson.   Please contact Tom Pandolfi at 860-209-5923 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 this wonderful group of volunteers.

Danielson Veterans Coffeehouse is collecting old cell phones and their chargers which are provided to Veterans and others in homeless shelters.  Please drop them off at the coffeehouse or any Veteran member.

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

  • January 23 - Bill Pearsall is the Putnam Municipal Historian.  He will be presenting on the Putnam Bank Robbery of Friday, September 22, 1941.  You will find his presentation education and full of humor.
  • January 30 - Sam Ducharme, Hiking the Appalachian Trail, set out on a 2180 mile, 14 state backpacking trip from Springer Mountain, Georgia to Mt. Katahdin, Maine.  Come join him as he talks about his life-changing journey.
  • February 6 - Deborah Stegnaier is an Army veteran and Founder of Well-Being for Warriors in Bloomfield, CT.  They are a non-profit organization offering free Holistic and Energy Medicine services to Veterans with PTSD, MTBI and to prevent suicide.
  • February 6 - Evening Coffeehouse - Young 'n' Shameless is an acoustical due with passionate and free improvisation as their centerpiece comprised of Richard Young and Seamus McMullan who will be playing this evening.
  • February 13 - Steve Dunkle of Veterans Count will be showing veterans how to enroll and use the VA Electronic Medical Record, My HealtheVet.
  • February 20 - Connecticut State Representative Mae Flexer will be talking about issues coming up this session in the Connecticut Veterans Committee.
  • February 27 - "Forgotten Hero" by Joe Lindley, local author and historian will be giving a presentation about his book, Forgotten Hero, which details the life of Putnam, CT Silver Star recipient Calvin William Heath - Delta Co., 3/187th Infantry ABN, 101st Airborne Division.
  • March 6 - Transgender Person - Renee Benoit currently holds three support groups, willingly speaks with anyone who asks and encourages questions about transgender.  She will talk about how it was difficult growing up with depression and knowing something was wrong.
  • March 6 - Evening Coffeehouse - "Back By Popular Demand" will be playing.  They are seasoned musicians that collaborated to form the current band and play 60s and 70s music.
  • March 13 - Professor Tracey Rittenhouse from UCONN will be talking about Black Bears in Connecticut.
  • March 20 - Melissa Bonafe of Davis Place will be talking about Caring for Our Community.


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 Danielson 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 of the Danielson Veteran's Coffeehouse: 

  • If the KCC (Killingly Community Center) is closed, the  Coffeehouse 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 there is to be a late opening, there will be an attempt to get WINY Radio to make an announcement regarding the Danielson Veteran's Coffeehouse.  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.

NEW:  VA Photo IDs:  Military.com has reported that honorably discharged veterans from every era will be able to get a photo identification card from the Department of Veterans Affairs beginning in November due to a law passed in 2015.

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.

State of Connecticut Guide to Benefits - Please see visit this website:  http://portal.ct.gov/DVA/Pages/State-of-CT-Guide-to-Benefits/Benefits

Online Tutoring:  The U. S. Department of Defense provides online tutoring from Tutor.com 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

If you spent time at Camp Lejeune here are additional healthcare resources available to you & your family if you qualify. https://twitter.com/i/web/status/948234968714633223


Veterans Events

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














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