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TSGLI payments will be made for qualifying servicemembers

Servicemembers who suffer severe injuries to the genitourinary organs will now be eligible for Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance Traumatic Injury Protection, or TSGLI.

“We recognize that these types of injuries are devastating and can have a long-lasting impact on the servicemember’s quality of life,” said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki. “It is for this reason that it is appropriate to include genitourinary injuries in the list of payable losses specified in the TSGLI program.”

Military doctors reported seeing an increase in these types of injuries, many of which are the result of the nature of current warfare and the use of improvised explosive devices, or IEDs, by enemy combatants.

TSGLI provides a one-time payment to servicemembers sustaining certain severe traumatic injuries resulting in a range of losses, including amputations, limb salvage, paralysis, burns, loss of sight and other traumatic losses. Genitourinary injuries for male and female servicemembers, are being added to the TSGLI schedule of covered losses.

VA also provides health care for genitourinary problems, along with disability compensation for cases of service-related injuries or illnesses involving genitourinary organs.

The first payments for genitourinary losses will be made to eligible servicemembers and Veterans on Dec. 2, eligibility for these new losses will be retroactive to injuries incurred on or after Oct. 7, 2001, the beginning of the Global War On Terror.

For more information on all of the TSGLI eligibility requirements, or to apply for a TSGLI payment, servicemembers and Veterans should go to www.insurance.va.gov/sgliSite/TSGLI/TSGLI.htm or contact their branch of service TSGLI office.

Holiday Wreaths

Volunteers placed holiday wreaths at Department of Veterans Affairs national cemeteries on Saturday, Dec. 10, to honor the nation’s veterans.  

“This generous gesture to remember our veterans at this time of year shows that Americans cherish the service and sacrifice of these heroes,” said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki.  “The volunteers who turn out for this event show America’s heartfelt, true holiday spirit.” 

At most locations, the Civil Air Patrol organizes wreath-laying ceremonies with assistance from local citizens and veterans service organizations.  All 131 VA national cemeteries receive wreaths, one for each military service branch, one for the Merchant Marines and one for prisoners of war and those missing in action.  

This is the sixth year that Worcester Wreath Company of Harrington, Maine, distributed wreaths to all VA national cemeteries and state veterans cemeteries in a nationwide program called Wreaths Across America.  It is the 20th year that the company, which created the program, sent thousands of wreaths to be placed at individual gravesites at Arlington National Cemetery and other locations across the country.  Company president Morrill Worcester seeks to recognize veterans, active duty military and their families, and his goal is to remind the public to remember veterans and teach children the value of freedom.

Community organizations, school groups and individuals have been purchasing and placing wreaths at Veterans cemeteries across the country for several years and hundreds are expected to do so again this week.

For more information about the event at local national and state veterans cemeteries, call the cemetery’s administration office, or visit the VA website at www.cem.va.gov/ or the Wreaths Across America website at www.wreathsacrossamerica.org/.

Durango VA Clinic

The Durango VA Outpatient Clinic is located at 1970 E. 3rd Ave. in the old Mercy Medical Center.

Meetings

The following veterans groups meet in Pagosa Springs:

American Legion Post 108, second Wednesday of the month at 7 p.m., 287 Hermosa St.

Veterans for Veterans, every Tuesday at 10 am, 164 N. Pagosa Blvd. (Buffalo Inn).

Women’s Group of Spouses of Veterans, Monday at 6 p.m., St. Patrick’s Episcopal Church Parish Hall, 225 S. Pagosa Blvd.

Further information

For information on these and other veterans’ benefits, please call or stop by the Archuleta County Veterans Service Office located at the Senior Center in the Ross Aragon Community Center on Hot Springs Boulevard. The office number is 264-4013, the fax number is 264-4014, cell number is 946-3590 and e-mail is raytaylor@archuletacounty.org. The office is open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday. Bring your DD Form 214 (Discharge) for application for VA programs and for filing in the VSO office.

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