Members of the Missouri Veterans Commission met at the Warrensburg Veterans Home for their quarterly meeting at 10 am August 2, 2012 in the Veterans Chapel. Our elected representatives as a reminder are Senators Victor Callahan and David Pearce and Representatives Barney Fisher and Jason Kander.
The homes programs report that out of 1350 beds, 99% occupancy is the norm with the waiting list growing exponentially. There were 150,647 volunteer hours reported in the veterans homes for the year – outstanding group of individuals who give of their time to help our fellow veterans!
The Mexico Veterans Home is reducing its bed space to 120 beds – down from150 to facilitate the building upgrades scheduled to begin soon. The remaining residents will be moved around to non-construction areas of the home. As soon as the construction is completed, the bed capacity will be increased back to 150 beds.
As a review of dollar expenditures through the grant program, the following statistics was interesting. Grant recipients and amounts: VFW $482,825, American Legion $189,810, DAV $475,615. VFW continues to shine in comparison to the 44 MVC officers that also work veterans benefit claims.
Attendees were reminded of the Women Veterans State Conference on September 14 at UCM (used to be Central Missouri University, Warrensburg). The meetings will be held in Elliott Building, Room 204.
There was an interesting aspect of the meeting that all veterans should be interested in as there is discussion of changing how priority admissions are made at the Veterans Homes. Currently the priorities are in 3 Tiers: Tier 1 includes those with service related disability and have at least a 70% service connected VA disability; Tier 2 includes those with war time service; Tier 3 includes all other veterans. I would think that all veterans would be interested in following this discussion before decisions are made and the Tier Descriptors are modified and in place!!
There is also a recommendation from the MVC that Veteran Home rates should be evaluated with the expectation of raising rates. There has not been a rate increase for veteran home standard rates for several years. The figure that was briefly brought up was a 15% increase. If you want to know and/or want to stay involved, the next MVC meeting is scheduled for Nov 5th at 10am in Jefferson City.
Mr Cumbeford has resigned from the MVC so a new chairman will be elected at the next session.
Comrades, we worked hard to retain our Missouri Veterans Homes and services – MVC meetings are public meetings and these folks represent you….you may want to consider putting these meetings on your calendar and attending….At this meeting we had Jessie Jones, State Adjutant/Quartermaster; Dewey Riehn, VFW Legislative Chairman; Nancy Cowan, State Chaplain, Several Members of Post 2513 (VFW, Warrensburg) – Byran Lee, Cdr.; Ross Chambers, past cpt of honor guard; Marvin Neal, Post Trustee and post membership chairman; Theresa Shane, Post 2513 Jr-Vice and District 6 Womans Veteran Chairman.
As Always, Olin Parks, Past State Commander, Veterans of Foreign Wars