Over the past three years the Hines Community Outreach Team (HCOT) has come to Judd Kendall VFW Post 3873 in Naperville on the first Tuesday of every month.

That effort has been very successful. The team has signed up over 200 Veterans for VA Healthcare, answered questions, and set up appointments for the Veterans.

There is one problem with this good news. Even though some of these Veterans are signed up and in the system, in order to be active you must have an initial vesting physical at Hines or a VA Community Based Outreach Clinic (CBOC). If the Veteran has not done this, they will not be able to access the VA Healthcare programs.

For Veterans in the Naperville area, the closest CBOC is in Aurora. I use this facility and I can tell you they do a tremendous job helping the Veteran population.

Another mandate that a majority of Veterans aren’t aware of is that to stay active in the VA Healthcare system, you must also have a physical once a year. Have you fulfilled that requirement? If you haven’t, please come into the Naperville VFW Post on the first Tuesday of the month from 9AM until 2PM and let the Outreach Team update your records and set up an appointment to get that physical.

On another note, here are a few things that Veterans and their survivors should NOT do.

  • If you get a call from someone claiming to be from the VA hospital prescription department and they need to confirm your social security number, DON’T give it to them. It is a scam.
  • DON’T just notify the VA hospital or clinic when you move. You must also notify the VA benefits side, especially if you have a claim or appeal pending. The VA computer systems don’t talk to each other yet. You may get your prescriptions and appointment information at the new address, but important information on your appeal may be returned by the Post Office as undeliverable.
  • Safe deposit boxes are nice places to keep important documents, but DON’T keep your only copy of your military discharge papers in it. Have another copy somewhere at home so that when you pass away your next of kin will have access to it.