Bozho (Hello),

Well, we made it through 2023. And what a year it was. The Citizen Potawatomi Nation Veterans Organization has had a busy 2023 in presenting the colors at various events, demonstrating folding the U.S. Flag to local schools and our annual CPN Festival. We are proud to represent the Citizen Potawatomi Nation throughout the state of Oklahoma. Our membership has grown, and Tribal veterans are beginning to show interest in our Color Guard and Honor Guard. We invite all CPN veterans and their families to join us for a meal and social gathering on the fourth Tuesday of each month. You do not have to be a member or even join, but we welcome interaction and socializing of our veterans and their families.

As most of you know, I try to keep our veterans informed of the benefits available through Veterans Affairs (VA) health care programs. Oklahoma City recently launched a new app called “VA Health Chat” to help veterans “chat” directly to health care professionals. The goal is to improve veteran satisfaction and improve timeliness of getting veterans scheduled for their appointments with providers outside VA with Community Care appointments. With VA Health Chat they can offer another way for veterans to return that critical information and move forward with their consult quicker and easier. The VA Health Chat app connects veterans with online messaging or text with a VA health care professional who can assist you. If a provider from your assigned care team needs to be contacted, the health care professional can send a message on your behalf and relay the messages.

On another note, the Veterans Benefits Administration’s (VBA) Loan Guaranty Service (LGY) helps address the needs of Native Americans through the Native American Direct Loan (NADL) program, a special initiative that supports Native American veterans who want to buy, build or refinance a home on federal trust land. For Native Veterans Report American veterans to apply to NADL, their tribe must have a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the VA.

Remember our monthly meeting of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation Veterans Organization is the fourth Tuesday of each month. January’s meeting is on the 23rd (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.

Daryl Talbot, Commander