HONOR  FLIGHT PRESS CONFERENCE

Jeff Miller sharing information about Honor Flight and the success and history of Honor Air.  This year marks the tenth anniversary of the first Honor Air flight
Brigadier General Frank Blazey giving his comments about the Korean Conflict and Honor Flight. He shared a few of memories from his vast service experience

  
Blue Ridge Honor Flight Announces New Mission
  

Marybeth Burns

(Hendersonville, NC, May 2, 2016)- Blue Ridge Honor Flight (formerly HonorAir) announced at a press conference earlier today its next mission to fly Korean War veterans and any veteran with a life-limiting illness to their memorial in the nation’s capitol. In addition, it was announced that the first flight of this next phase of Honor Flight will take place on September 24, 2016, ten years and one day after the first HonorAir flight to the World War II Memorial. The Blue Ridge Honor Flight project will be working with veterans from Buncombe, Henderson, Polk, and Transylvania counties.

HonorAir and the National Honor Flight programs have been responsible for flying over 150,000 veterans to our nation's capitol to experience their memorial. In the spring of 2011, the last Western North Carolina HonorAir flight returned home to Asheville Airport.

“It’s always an honor to serve our veterans in this capacity,” stated HonorAir founder Jeff Miller. “And this phase of our mission is also exciting because so few Americans understand the Korean War. We hope our efforts will educate them and make it clear why these veterans deserve our thanks.”

Once again, Honor Flight is partnering with the Asheville Regional Airport to make these trips a reality. Airport Marking Director Tina Kinsey explained, “It’s an honor for us to help make the whole experience memorable and comfortable for our veterans. We look forward to working with Jeff and his board and volunteers to serve these special Americans.”

For more information about how to get involved in Blue Ridge Honor Flight, make a donation, or to get a veteran signed up for a flight, please visit the Blue Ridge Honor Flight website at blueridgehonorflight.com.  

Follow the link below to Blue Ridge Honor Flight for more information and great images of the previous Honor Flights.
Blue Ridge Honor Flight

Important Information

“Here is some useful information for our Veterans. The Department of Defense (DOD) has admitted to under-rating Veterans who were discharged between Sep. 11, 2001 thru Dec. 31, 2009. 

Any Veteran that was medically discharged in this time frame and was given a disability percentage of less than 20% is eligible to apply to the Physical Disability Board of Review (PDBR). 

The Physical Disability Board of Review, or PDBR, was legislated by Congress and implemented by the Department of Defense to ensure the accuracy and fairness of combined disability ratings of 20% or less assigned to service members who were discharged between September 11, 2001 and December 31, 2009.

The PDBR uses medical information provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs and the military department.

Once a review is complete, the PDBR forwards a recommendation to the secretary of the respective branch of the armed service


VA Benefits
This link defines who is eligible and other FAQs.


This is separate from VA claims and will not affect a Veterans VA benefits.  Veterans cannot complete this process electronically, because of the need for original signatures.” 


If you have additional questions or need assistance, contact Mike Murdock at (828) 697-4817


Veterans Services

Veterans Service Officer
Mike Murdock
MSgt USMC(Ret)

Henderson County Human Services Building
1200 Spartanburg Hwy, Suite 200
Hendersonville, NC 28792
Phone: (828) 697-4817
Email: mmurdock@hendersoncountync.org
Hours:
Monday: 8:30 until noon; 1:00 until 5:00 
Tuesday: 8:30 until 2:30
Wednesday: 8:30 until 2:30
Thursday: By Appointment Only
Fridays and Weekends: CLOSED



The Veterans Services Officer assists veterans and their dependents in obtaining benefits from the United States Department of Veterans Affairs and the North Carolina Division of Veterans Affairs.

Essential Department Functions: Advise local veterans and their dependents of their entitlement under various Federal and State laws, counsel them, and actively assist them in obtaining Federal and State veterans benefits.

Appointments are not required; however, to avoid the possibility of a lengthy wait it is advisable to call or email before visiting the office.

The Veterans Services office is located at 1200 Spartanburg Highway. Access is through the center entrance on the northeast side of the building. Parking, to include handicapped parking is available directly in front of the building entrance.

A DD 214 (Armed Forces of the United States Report of Transfer or Discharge) or equivalent is necessary to begin application for any VA or North Carolina Division of Veterans Affairs benefit. If the DD 214 is unavailable the Veterans Service Officer can assist in obtaining a replacement.

Additionally, most VA and North Carolina Division of Veterans Affairs benefit applications require specific information regarding income, net worth, and current and prior marriages of both the veteran and spouse.

TAX SCAMS

BACKGROUND INFORMATION

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has received numerous reports of threatening telephone calls from individuals claiming to be from the IRS.  Fraudsters pose as the IRS to trick victims out of their money or personal information.  Fraudsters use scare tactics (arrest, deportation, and/or revoking their license) to demand that the victim pay a bogus tax bill and subsequently con the victim into sending cash, usually through a prepaid debit card or wire transfer.  The fraudsters may also leave “urgent” callback requests through phone “robo-calls,” or via phishing email.

The fraudster states they are with the Audit Commission Department with the IRS Audit Headquarters in Chicago and they are calling to inform them that the IRS is filing a lawsuit.  The fraudster will provide the individual with a previous address and indicate that the initial notification was mailed to that address.


WHAT THE VETERAN/BENFICIARY SHOULD DO IF THEY RECEIVE THESE CALLS

Contact the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) to report the call. Use their “IRS Impersonation Scam Reporting” web page. You can also call 1-800-366-4484.
Report it to the Federal Trade Commission. Use the “FTC Complaint Assistant” on FTC.gov. Please add "IRS Telephone Scam" in the notes.
Record the employee's name, badge number, call back number and caller ID if available.
Call 1-800-366-4484 to determine if the caller is an IRS employee with a legitimate need to contact you.
Stay alert to scams that use the IRS as a lure. Tax scams can happen any time of year, not just at tax time. For more information, visit “Tax Scams and Consumer Alerts” on IRS.gov.
Tax Scams and Consumer Alerts” 
VA to Hold Second National Access Stand Down
Reaching Out Again to Veterans Waiting for Urgent Care
On Saturday, Feb. 27, VA will hold a second National Access Stand Down event. .

A team of clinical leaders, administrators and volunteers will be on site at every VA medical center from 9 a.m. to noon to reach out to all Veterans waiting for urgent care.

Veterans should contact their Patient Aligned Care Team (PACT) with questions about the urgency of their condition.

VA’s first-ever National Access Stand Down event held on Nov. 14 was a great success, and the goal now is to keep the momentum going. It was an important day for VA to show our Veterans and the nation how serious VA is about ending the access crisis.

But our journey of improvement is just beginning. It takes much more than a one-day event to fix access issues and achieve the goal of providing Veterans same day access for primary care and urgent specialty care.

On Feb. 27, at VA medical centers across the country, hundreds of the men and women of VA will give up part of their weekend to demonstrate our commitment to providing timely access to health care for our Veterans.

There are still Veterans waiting longer than they should for care. VA’s ability to meet the urgent health needs of Veterans remains a priority for VA and the nation.

As long as there is even a single Veteran with an urgent care need VA is not meeting in a timely fashion, we will not be satisfied. Although VA has greatly increased access since last June, the demand has also significantly increased, and there are still Veterans waiting longer than they should for care.

That’s why VA is holding another National Access Stand Down this Saturday. Many federal, community, and academic partners have been recruited to pitch in and help resolve any outstanding urgent appointments at the one-day Access Stand Down.

This event will demonstrate to you, our Veterans, and the nation how serious we are about ending the access crisis. And our efforts to fix the access issues will continue after Feb. 27.


We will not rest until we fix our systemic problems in addressing the health needs of those who need our help the most. VA is committed to providing timely access to Veterans as determined by their clinical needs.

We strive for all Veterans to have safe, high-quality, personalized, and timely care wherever they receive their health care services. -


Postcards from the Front
































Jo Ann Fain, vice chair the Henderson County Heritage Museum, Henderson County’s Veterans Service officer Mike Murdock, and Carolyn Justus, chairperson of the Henderson County Heritage Museum  stand in the Veterans Hall outside the Veterans Affairs Office. I encourage you to visit this exhibit of our county's history in conflicts and wars.        Photo by Rimas Zailskas.







Click Here For the Full Article in Bold Life

BY NORM POWERS  HISTORY
NOVEMBER 2, 2015
Bold Life
105 S. Main St
Hendersonville, NC
828-692-3230
 
Some of the excellent pictures and displays at the Veterans Affairs Office.
They are well worth the visit.
Joe was in my class at Hendersonville High School and would have been a senior when he was killed in combat. He was a dear friend and we played football together at HHS.

Everyone who knew Joe can remember exactly what they were doing when they heard the news about his death.

I was glad to see this memorial to the Invasion of the Dominican Republic and Joe at the Veterans Affairs Office.

Jerald Wright, Jr
Got a Minute? Mike Murdock
Henderson County veterans service officer

By Mark Schulman
Times-News Staff Writer
Published: Monday, May 17, 2010 at 4:30 a.m.

































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Mike Murdock: Henderson County veterans service officer

picture by Mike Dirks


Residence: Henderson County
Family: Wife, Joyce; three grandchildren

What duties do you perform as a veterans service officer?
I assist veterans and their families in learning about VA benefits and then applying for those benefits.

How long have you been the veterans service officer for Henderson County?
Since September 2003 -- Thirteen years this summer.

How many veterans are there in Henderson County?
The VA estimates there are about 11,500 veterans in Henderson County, but the number is probably a good bit higher than that. The VA can only count veterans who have applied for, or are receiving, VA benefits.

What military experience do you have?
I retired from the U.S. Marine Corps in 1993 after 26 years. I'm a Vietnam veteran.

Why is it important for veterans to be aware of services and benefits that are out there?
The United States has the largest and most comprehensive veterans benefits system in the world. Part of the "promise" associated with the sacrifices veterans are often asked to make is that the VA will "be there" for them. It's important for our veterans to take advantage of existing benefits, not only for themselves but to ensure that benefits continue for future veterans.

What are some common situations you run into when talking with veterans?
The illnesses associated with exposure to Agent Orange in Vietnam are still  very prevalent. Vietnam veterans were all in their 60s, and the medical conditions caused by Agent Orange were beginning to manifest themselves. Also, because of the failing economy, many veterans and their families are inquiring into possible VA benefits in an effort to make ends meet.  Since 2009 the office has averaged slightly less than 2,000 in office visits per year.


What is your favorite part of the job?
Meeting our veterans and their families, especially my World War II veterans.

What is the most challenging part of your job?
Telling veterans and their families that they do not qualify for VA benefits. Very often, I have to be the bearer of bad news, and it's difficult dealing with the effect that sometimes has. Also, just by the nature of the job, I lose "my" veterans on a regular basis -- the job requires that I establish very close relationships with veterans and their families, and when they pass away it's almost like losing a family member.

Is there anything you would like to tell veterans and their families about what services/ benefits that they are entitled to?
Even if you think you're not eligible, please contact me and inquire. Very often, veterans learn of benefits they didn't realize are available. Also, everything associated with the VA begins with and is built around the veteran's discharge -- the DD 214. If you don't have your DD 214 (even if you don't intend to use it right now), we need to start the process of obtaining it.


To contact Murdock, call 828-697-4817.





Got a Minute? Mike Murdock
Henderson County veterans service officer
By Mark Schulman
Times-News Staff Writer
Published: Monday, May 17, 2010 at 4:30 a.m.