Veterans service officer speaks at Golden K Club meeting
By JOAN JOUPPI
For The Daily News
KINGSFORD — Sunshine, blue skies, and broad smiles welcomed members to the Monday morning Golden K meeting. Could there be a better way to begin a fresh new week in January?
Alyce Derwinski strummed the piano, while Bill Roberts lead the group’s rendition of the oldies.
Denise Formolo was welcomed as the guest speaker. Joan Jouppi picked up her winnings from the 50-50 drawing and Gary Proudfit read the Happy Dollar thoughts for the day. Happiness flowed for birthday celebrations, for a great -grandson, and for the possibility of spring in the near future.
Usually one thought for the day carries the Golden K through the week. Today there seemed to be a need for more. Roberts quoted Henry Ford’s wisdom, “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t — you’re right.” Denise Formolo offered: “If it’s not you — then who?” She followed up with “Live life to the fullest each day,” and “Tested wisdom is a shot in the arm as we face life’s moguls.”
Plans are coming together for the Valentines party for children with special needs. Golden K members are anticipating a great day with the kids.
Roberts introduced Denise Formolo, who is a dedicated veterans service officer. The Dickinson County Office of Veterans Affairs is the oldest County Veterans Office in the state of Michigan. They boast 80 years of service and still counting.
During World War II, Dickinson County identified the need for services assisting soldiers going to and coming from the war. The veterans’ organization formed a council and applied for financial assistance from the county to open and operate an office. Several years ago, the office applied and received its own millage. It is now operated by the county under the mission statement, “Assist all veterans and their dependents in Dickinson County to help them attain benefits and entitlements on the state and federal level.”
Through the Nationally Accredited Service Officers, veterans receive the most up-to-date information on benefits, healthcare and legislative issues.
Help is available for war era veterans receiving DD214 discharge papers and upgrades. If needed, flags are provided for burials. Help is provided to order markers and apply for burial benefits.
Formolo handed out fliers with beneficial information detailing services available to veterans and their families.
The local office has two qualified service officers available to set up appointments, answer questions and determine eligibility.
Outreach programs are scheduled throughout the year to notify veterans of new services and legislation.
They are currently working with the PACT Act implemented in August of 2022. This deals with 20 new presumptive diseases relating to toxic exposure. Veterans can now file for compensation for Agent Orange, burn pits and other chemical exposures.
The Michigan Veterans Trust Fund and the Soldier/Sailor Relief fund help veterans and their dependents in times of urgent need.
The Dickinson Area Veterans Alliance also manages funds to help veterans in need.
Veterans Services Officers are ready to help veterans and their families establish eligibility. Services can be accessed by calling 906-774-2820, or in person at 800 Crystal Lake Blvd. in Iron Mountain.
Golden K meets Monday at the First Presbyterian Church in Kingsford with feature guest speaker, Scott Rutter. The meeting will begin at 10 a.m. All are welcome.