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Veterans Voice: A heartfelt thanks to Les Logsdon

January 14, 2012

Les Logsdon, Hood River/Wasco counties' veteran service officer, has resigned.

The Veterans Service Office at 601 State St. in Hood River will be kept open on Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., with an hour off at lunch. There will be a veterans service officer presently available on Tuesday until a permanent VSO is hired. (An application for that position can be picked up at the Veterans Service Office.)

Presently, we have Linda Adams filling in for us on Tuesdays. There will be a volunteer on the premises on Wednesdays to answer questions, provide information, set appointments and direct inquiries to the proper channels during this transition period.

Les Logsdon has been an invaluable veterans service officer. His problem-solving skills and dedication to serving the veterans in our area has reaped much deserved compensation for many of our local veterans.

Les will be undergoing coronary artery by-pass surgery on Friday, Jan. 13, in Portland. Any correspondence of good wishes can be directed to the Hood River Veterans Service Office listed in this article. We wish Les "A heartfelt thanks for his service, best wishes and a speedy recovery!"

EVR - Eligibility Verification Forms - have been sent out in January by the Veterans Administration. They are for non-service connected pensions. They are a green form and should be filled out and returned in the self-addressed envelope enclosed by March 1 so you will not lose your benefits. If you have received a letter of termination of benefits, you might want to contact the Veterans Service Office for verification.

If you are a veteran who was medically separated from military service between Sept. 11, 2001, and Dec. 31, 2009, you have some recourse if you feel you have unfairly received a too-low disability rating from the military.

The Physical Disability Board of Review will reassess the accuracy and fairness of the combined disability ratings assigned to service members who were discharged as unfit for continued military service by the military department with a combined disability rating of 20 percent or less.

The board outcomes of those who have applied have been favorable. Nearly half of the applicants have received upgrades of 30 percent or more, which would make them eligible for a military medical retirement, retiree pay, access to military healthcare and other benefits.

Only 3,000 veterans have applied, of the roughly 75,000 eligible veterans. Later this month the VA and Pentagon plan to begin sending letters to thousands of post-9/11 eligible veterans. Contact your VSO if you feel you qualify and/or apply at www.health.mil/pdbr.

This year is a very challenging year that will bring many changes. Please let me know what information you, as a reader, would like to hear about.

I can be reached at 541-490-3166. I would love your input and opportunity to bring updated info about our veterans services in the coming year.

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