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4/5/2023 Reps. Vella-Wilkinson, McEntee partner to propose funding for a statewide Veterans Services Program
STATE HOUSE — Rep. Camille F.J. Vella-Wilkinson (D-Dist. 21, Warwick) has partnered with Rep. Carol Hagan McEntee (D-Dist. 33, South Kingstown, Narragansett) to push for the funding of a statewide Veterans Services Program.

The joint resolution (2023-H 6244) calls for the appropriation of $72,000 to the Rhode Island Department of Veterans of Foreign Wars for the Rhode Island Veterans Services Officers (VSO) Program.

“There are over 63,000 veterans in Rhode Island, and too many of them don’t know how to access their benefits,” said Representative Vella-Wilkinson, a retired naval officer. “Many of our cities and towns don’t have a local office, leaving veterans to fend for themselves in navigating sometimes-confusing websites, which just isn’t a viable option for many of our vets. We want to ensure that the veteran community across the state is well-served and knowledgeable when it comes to their benefits and how to access them.”

The Department of RI VFW partners with the Veterans Administration to certify VSOs, located in cities and towns across Rhode Island, who help veterans and their families with issues including healthcare, housing, education and municipal tax reductions, as well as service-connected disability claims, job readiness, home loans and burial benefits.

“Veterans have given so much for their country, including a willingness to make the ultimate sacrifice,” said Representative McEntee. “The VFW currently receives a $28,000 grant to help with this program. We’d like to see that changed to a $100,000 item in the annual budget to expand and publicize the VSO program and enhance the lives of our veterans and military families.”

For more information, contact:
Daniel Trafford, Publicist
State House Room 20
Providence, RI 02903