Bozho (Hello),

This has already turned out to be a busy year, and more people are becoming actively interested in the CPN Veterans Organization. There has been an awakening of the public to remembering and thanking veterans on the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War. Tell them, “Thank you and welcome home!”

I receive a lot of calls and emails from CPN veterans and their families asking for help with various issues they may have about veterans’ benefits — mainly health care. The Veterans Administration has an awareness campaign spreading the word about new benefits. I, myself, use the VA for many of my health needs and I receive friendly and very capable care. The VA’s Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA) is working to inform and ensure that veterans, their families, caregivers or survivors know about the expanded care and benefits. There is a primary effort to inform veterans and their families of the expanded access to VA benefits regarding veterans exposed to burn pits and other toxic substances.

This includes more than 20 new presumptive conditions related to exposure to burn pits, Agent Orange and other substances. While there is no deadline to file a claim under the PACT Act, do not wait to file a claim. If you apply for benefits before Aug. 10, 2023, and are granted “service-connection” for your condition, your benefits may be backdated to Aug. 10, 2022. I hope this information is helpful to you veterans and your families.

Remember, our monthly meeting of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation Veterans Organization is the fourth Tuesday of each month, May 23 (unless otherwise notified due to weather or conflicting events) at 6 p.m. (or as soon as you can get there) in the North Reunion Hall on the CPN Powwow Grounds. All CPN veterans and spouses and their families are welcome. Membership in the veterans’ organization is not required; come and visit us and enjoy our socializing. For more information, you can contact Daryl Talbot.

Migwetch (Thank you),

Daryl Talbot, Commander