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RI Veternans: Did you Know?


RI Veterans: Did you know? 22 October 21 – John A. Cianci

October 21, 2021/John Cianci

by John A Cianci, Department Veterans Service Officer, 

                             Italian American War Veterans (ITAM)

Taking your questions

Q – Sadly I just lost my second leg to amputation, and I need a medical electric hospital bed for my home, and the VA told me they are back ordered (3-4 weeks). Is there another source I can get one, as a veteran? George, Vietnam Veteran Willimantic

A – Yes. Thanks to the power of social media, the Italian American War Veterans (ITAMVETS) post to Facebook, “911 Veteran Help Needed,” attracted offers from almost 20 sources for a hospital bed for George. Within 48 hours after George contacted ITAMVETS, members of the ITAMVETS picked up a brand new, never used, still in packaging, hospital bed. After pickup,  ITAMVETS delivered and setup the hospital for George.

In the responses from Facebook, ITAMVETS discovered a source for medical equipment not only for Veterans, but anyone in need of medical related devices:

Shrines Masonry

118 Long Street, Warwick RI

Friday 9am-12pm (first come, first serve)

Telephone Number :401-451-0184

VETTIP – Shrines Masonry program is first come, first serve. No paperwork. In addition, the Shrines Masonry also accept donations of medical supplies on Fridays.

The hospital bed for George did not come from Shrines Masonry; a team effort of former and current members of the Rhode Island National Guard who collaborated to acquire, deliver, and setup the bed for George. Moreover, George contacting ITAMVETS started with this Veteran contributor giving his business card to a friend of George’s; she also reads the veteran column – like this one! – every Thursday. 

George wants to thank everyone who made this happen, which saved him hundreds of dollars renting one while awaiting a hospital bed from the VA. 

Emergency Medical Care -Information for Veterans

Did you know? A Veteran, during a medical emergency, should immediately seek care at the nearest medical facility, and will pay ZERO out of pocket if the facility is advised the patient is a Veteran and all billing should be sent to the VA.

According to the VA website, during a medical emergency, the veteran should immediately seek care at the nearest emergency department (ED). A medical emergency is an injury, illness, or symptom so severe that a delay in seeking immediate medical attention would be reasonably expected to be hazardous to life or health. If you believe your life or health is in danger, call 911 or go to the nearest emergency department right away.

Veterans do not need to check with VA before calling for an ambulance or going to an emergency department. During a medical emergency, VA encourages all Veterans to seek immediate medical attention without delay. It is, however, important to promptly notify VA within 72 hours of presenting to the emergency room.

72-Hour Notification, Phone: 844-72HRVHA (844-724-7842)

Veterans, their representatives, and in-network community providers should report instances of a Veteran presenting to a community emergency room to VA within 72 hours of the start of emergent care. Out-of-network providers are encouraged to notify VA as soon as possible.

Notifying VA in a timely fashion is important because it allows VA to assist the Veteran in coordinating necessary care or transfer and helps ensure that the administrative and clinical requirements for VA to pay for the care are met and may impact a Veteran’s eligibility for VA to cover the cost of emergency treatment.

Case-specific details are necessary for care coordination and eligibility determinations. Providers, Veterans, and representatives can utilize any one of the following options to report emergency services:

Online: Emergency Care Reporting

Phone: 844-72HRVHA (844-724-7842)

In-person: Appropriate VA official at the nearest VA medical facility

The person contacting VA should be prepared to supply the information shown in the table below.

IMPORTANT: An emergency department is a facility that is staffed and equipped to provide emergency treatment and does not include community facilities that only provide medical treatment in situations other than emergencies.


·      You must be enrolled in the VA health care system or have a qualifying exemption from enrollment.

·      A VA health care facility or other federal facility with the capability to provide the necessary emergency services must not be feasibly available* to provide the emergency treatment.

·      The medical situation is of such a nature that a prudent layperson would reasonably expect that a delay in seeking immediate medical attention would be hazardous to life or health.

·      The claim is timely filed.

NOTE: Emergency treatment is only covered until you can safely be transferred to a VA or other federal facility. If you refuse to be transferred to a VA or other federal facility after your emergency condition is stabilized, you may be liable for the cost of care beyond the point of stabilization. The single exception to this rule is if VA is contacted and unable to accept the transfer. If this happens, it is important that any attempt to transfer you be documented by the community emergency treatment facility.

Additional Requirements for Authorized Emergency Treatment (38 CFR 17.4020(c))

In addition to the general eligibility requirements, the following criteria must also be met:

·      In-Network Status: The treatment was provided at a community emergency facility that is in VA’s Community Care Network (CCN) or Patient-Centered Community Care (PC3) network.

·       72-Hour Notification to VA: VA must be notified , Phone: 844-72HRVHA (844-724-7842) of the treatment within 72 hours of your arrival at the emergency treatment facility. If VA is not notified within that window, the treatment cannot be authorized under this section. 

Case-specific details are necessary for care coordination and eligibility determinations. Providers, Veterans, and representatives can utilize any one of the following options to report emergency services:

Online: Emergency Care Reporting

Phone: 844-72HRVHA (844-724-7842)

In-person: Appropriate VA official at the nearest VA medical facility

The person contacting VA should be prepared to supply the information shown in the table below. If the caller is unable to supply all information, VA will engage with the appropriate parties to attempt to collect the information.

Case-specific details for 72-hour notification
Veteran Information Treating Facility Information
Name National Provider Identifier (NPI)
Gender Name
Social Security Number Address
Date of Birth Point of Contact (POC) Name
Veteran Address POC Phone #
Date Presenting to Facility POC Fax #
Date of Discharge POC Email
Admitted? (Yes/No) NOTE: POC will receive VA authorization decision information
Chief Complaint/Admission DX and/or Discharge DX
Originating Location
(address where the emergency event occurred)
Mode of Arrival
Other Health Insurance

The primary purpose of notifying VA of a Veteran in need of emergency treatment presenting to a community provider is to ensure proper care coordination. Notifying VA also allows covered Veterans to have their emergent treatment authorized by VA under Title 38 Code of Federal Regulation (CFR) §17.4020(c). The local VAMC will engage with community providers who report notification through the centralized notification process. However, if you have an urgent or emergent need to coordinate care and/or transfer a Veteran to a VAMC, please make immediate contact the nearest VAMC.

Besides calling, are there other ways to contact the VA?

Case-specific details are necessary for care coordination and eligibility determinations. Providers, Veterans, and representatives can utilize any one of the following options to report emergency services:

Online: Emergency Care Reporting

Phone: 844-72HRVHA (844-724-7842)

In-person: Appropriate VA official at the nearest VA medical facility

It is extremely important the veterans or his or her family for the rules of the VA to ensure the VA pays for the care. Additionally, if after the Veteran is discharged, follow the VA rules:

1.    Contact the aforementioned number.

2.    Document the mode of how you contacted the VA

3.    Do not ignore any bills that come in, other than the VA.

4.    After receipt of a bill, IMMEDIATELY contact the facility that treated you, and remind the facility you are a Veteran and want the VA to cover all costs.

VETTIP – Call ITAMVETS for more information on assisting a spouse of a Veteran to have the facility who treated reverse the charges submitted and paid by the VA.


The veteran owes additional $30K in co-payments not covered by Medicare. If the charges are reversed, the VA will not pick up the balance.

In conclusion, follow the VA rules for emergency care:

1.    Go to the nearest facility.

2.    Immediately, when times allows, contact should be made by family by calling 844-72HRVHA (844-724-7842)

3.    Ask for the name , contact information who you are talking to.

4.    Ask for the control number from who is assisting from the community emergency facility

If you don’t meet the 72 hours notification, ITAMVETS recommends you still follow the above procedures. 

VETTIP – Document and save. Moreover, spend the time and Google VA NEXUS, this should help you understanding the VA process for filing and submitting a claim.


 Oct. 23-24. Calling all Veterans and Active Duty Military! Smoltz Farms, North Andover  ?This coming weekend and next, October 23-24 and October 30-31, we welcome you to the farm for a FREE peck-sized bag of apples with a valid ID.? It’s a great opportunity to get outside and enjoy all that Fall in New England has to offer! ?This is just a small token to say THANK YOU for all that you have done and continue to do. North Andover’s Smolak Farms offers fun for everyone—blending a 300 year old New England Farm complete with orchards, berry fields, family activities and more. 315 S Bradford St North Andover, MA 01845

Nov. 7, Salute to Veterans, Assembly Theatre, Harrisville, doors open 430pm, show starts at 6pm. ComedyFactory RI John Perrotta’s, will be joined by comedians Prince of Mystery and Mike Murray for a fun filled night. Beer, wine, Rhode Island Saugy dogs, popcorn, and other refreshments will be sold at the event. Tickets are free for all Veterans and one guest. ComedyFactory RI  All patrons attending are asked to bring one or two canned goods, which will be donated to the local food pantry. Tickets can be obtained from: Eventbrite, and or on Assembly Theatre ‘s website,

Saturday, Nov 20. Comedy/Dinner show at the Officers Club, Newport RI. ComedyfactoryRI comedians will perform at the Veteran Fundraiser. Tickets are $50 per person, dinner at 5:00. Show starts at 6:00PM. Event is sponsored by the Italian American War Veterans and all Veterans residing at the Veterans Home the event will be free, to include a ticket for their guest. Sponsorships for a Veteran attending from the Veterans Home are encouraged for those who can’t attend, $50 (which covers the veteran and a guest). Tickets available on Eventbrite.
If you have an event, meeting, other pertinent Veteran information, or email questions or help needed, contact the Italian American War Veteran Service Officer, John A Cianci,, ITAM Office 1-(401)677-9VET(9838)  



Applebees Applebee’s – Military Discount … With more than 2,000 locations, Applebee’s is a family grill restaurant. Applebee’s gives 10% off for active duty and veteran. Last verified 07/31/2028 

Denny’s, Hartford Save Johnston Offers 10% discount for veterans and active duty. Denny’s is a table service diner-style restaurant chain.  Last verified 07/31/2028 (PS I had breakfast there on Saturday).

Outback Steakhouse 10% Discount to active and veterans. Last verified 07/28/2021

99 Restaurant & Pub: The 99 Restaurant & Pub offers a 10% military discount to members of Veterans Advantage. Available at select locations only. Bring valid military ID


Advance Auto Parts 10% for Active Duty, Veterans and families. Last verified 07/28/2021 

Bass Pro Shops: Bass Pro Shops offers a 5% discount to active duty military, reservists, and National Guard. Sign up and verify your status online or bring your military ID when you shop at your nearest Bass Pro store (source).

BJs Wholesale Reduced membership fee. J’s offers all military personnel over 25% off their Membership. Last verified 07/28/2021

Lowes. Enroll in the Lowe’s Military Discount Program to Activate Your 10% Discount – Our way of saying “Thank You” to our active duty, retired and military veterans and their spouses with a 10% discount on eligible items. 

Verification of your military status is fast and easy through our partner, is our trusted technology partner in helping to keep your personal information safe.

GameStop is offering a 10% in-store military discount on all pre-owned products, collectibles, and select new products. Available to current and former military members who bring any valid proof of service or when they verify through

Home Depot Home Depot offers a 10% OFF military discount on regularly priced merchandise for in-store purchases for active duty, retired military, and reservists at participating locations. Customers are required to show a valid government-issued military ID card to redeem this offer.

Kohls 15% Kohl’s offers active military, veterans, retirees and their immediate family members a 15% discount on purchases made on Mondays, in store only. In order to receive the military discount, eligible customers must present proper identification along with any tender type.


We didn’t want to wait for Veteran’s Day to express our appreciation and gratitude for your service. That’s why every Team Car Care owned and operated Jiffy Lube® service center is offering our BEST discount of 15% OFF as a “Thank You” to the men and women of our Armed Forces for their service to our country. *Disclaimer*- I.D. required. No coupon is required. Excludes batteries and brakes, alignment, and diagnostic services. Available only at select locations listed below:

Tioque Ave, Coventry RI

Bald Hill Road, Warwick RI

Park Ave, Cranston RI

Michaels Michaels Stores offers a 15% OFF military discount on the entire in-store purchase including sale items for active duty, retired military, guard, reservists, Veterans and family members. How to get – 

1.    Create an Account. Log in or create a Michaels Rewards account.

2.    Get Verified. Provide your military information to get verified instantly.

3.    Go Shopping! To use your discount online and in store, just sign into your account or provide your Michaels Rewards phone number at checkout.

O’Reilly Auto Parts 10% discount on in store items for Active Duty, Veterans and families. Last verified 3/4/21

If you are a retailer and or a veteran aware of a business not listed above, please forward,  the business name, location, and military and Veteran discount offered.

If you have an event, meeting, other pertinent veteran information, or email questions or help needed, contact the Italian American War Veteran Service Officer, John A Cianci,, ITAM Office 1-(401)677-9VET(9838).  


To read all columns in this series go to:


John A. Cianci is a Veteran Service Officer. Retired, U.S. Army MSgt., Persian Gulf War and Iraq War combat theater.

Cianci, a combat disabled Veteran, served in Desert Shield/Storm and Operation Iraqi Freedom. His awards include Bronze Star, Combat Action Badge, Good Conduct, and others.

Cianci belongs to numerous veterans organizations – Italian American War Veterans, American Legion, Veterans of Foreign War, United Veterans Council of Rhode Island, and many more organizations. He is an active volunteer assisting veterans to navigate federal and state benefits they have earned. He is Department of Rhode Island Department Commander Italian American War Veterans and Veteran Service Officer.

He is a graduate of Roger Williams University (BS Finance), UCONN business school* (Entrepreneur Bootcamp For Veterans), Solar Energy International Residential, Commercial and Battery Based Photovoltaic Systems certificate programs, numerous certificates from the Department of Defense renewable energy programs, including graduate of the Solar Ready Vets Program.



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