Thanking veterans for their service

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Lois A. Bowers
Lois A. Bowers

I'm observing Veterans Day a little late this year.

The official holiday was Saturday, although some schools, government offices and businesses were closed on Friday.

Monday, however, is the day that my father's nursing home is having a pinning ceremony and reception, and I'll be attending. In addition to my father, I have a grandfather and three uncles who fought in our country's wars. One lost his life in the process. My father and I will be thinking of them as well.

A similar scene played out at many senior living and care settings across the country last week, and members of the federal government took the opportunity to share related news.

Friday, for instance, members of the Senate Special Committee on Aging warned of scams targeting veterans and those who want to support them. The schemes, including benefit scams (also known as pension advances), imposter scams and charity scams, among others, use the word “veteran” to try to trick unsuspecting donors into giving money to fraudsters.

The committee's tips to avoid becoming a victim:

  • Make sure you research any charity to which you plan to donate, and make a direct payment rather than making a payment through a wire transfer or gift card.
  • Know that advisers who are approved by the VA to help veterans file a pension or other claims are never allowed to charge for their services.
  • If you are contacted by someone, either by phone or email, who claims to represent the Department of Veterans Affairs and requests payment for services or wants to confirm your personal information, disregard the solicitation and contact the VA directly for assistance.
  • Always be suspicious of anyone requesting upfront payments via wire transfer or gift cards.
  • If you have questions or believe you are the victim of a scam, call the Senate Aging Committee's toll-free fraud hotline at (855) 303-9470 or fill out a web form at https://www.aging.senate.gov/fraud-hotline.

And Thursday, the Labor Department announced a new program that will recognize employers that hire veterans. A final rule recently implemented the Honoring Investments in Recruiting and Employing (HIRE) American Military Veterans Act, signed by President Trump in May. A demonstration project will begin in 2018.

Small, medium and large employers will be recognized at the gold and platinum levels in the HIRE Vets Medallion Program. The gold level will honor employers where 7% of the workforce is veterans, whereas the percentage is 10% for platinum-level employers.

More details will be available soon; for more information, visit https://www.hirevets.gov/.

To all of the veterans out there, thank you for your service.

Lois A. Bowers is senior editor of McKnight's Senior Living. Follow her on Twitter at @Lois_Bowers.

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