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RI Veterans: Did you know? 11.1.23 (for women veterans, self-defense, events, more) – John A. Cianci

by John A. Cianci, contributing writer on veterans issues

Did you know the VA covers a wide range of maternity care services? What does the VA cover for pregnancy throughout pregnancy, delivery, and postpartum. Maternity care services available through VA include: Full physical exams and lab tests. Prenatal education and screening.

From the , here is a brochure:


For Women Veterans

Did you know a Operation Stand Down of Rhode Island recently opened a new home for homeless female veterans in Woonsocket RI? For more information on the home and other services provided to female veterans, contact Operation StandDown of Rhode Island,  Office: (401) 383-4730

VA Providence Welcomes New Women Veterans Program Manager – The VA Providence Healthcare System has announced that Joanne Barrett, RN, BSN, has been named the Women Veterans Program Manager. Barrett is a Veteran with 24-years of service in the Rhode Island Air National Guard as a combat medic and a nurse. She has also been working at VA Providence since 2009, in various roles such as medical technician, Intensive Care Unit nurse, and Operating Room / Patient Acute Care Unit nurse. 

“Joanne Barrett brings a wealth of experience, knowledge, and passion to her new position,” said Lawrence Connell, VA Providence Healthcare System Director, “we’re extremely pleased she is in this role.”

Barrett aims to inform women Veterans about the many programs and benefits that VA Providence offers, such as:

– Women’s primary care in Providence, Middletown, New Bedford, and Hyannis, with designated women providers who offer comprehensive and gender-specific care

– Family planning and preconception counseling, menopause care, mental health treatment, osteoporosis screening and management, and more

– Preventive care including cancer screenings and immunizations

– Telehealth, gender affirming care, weight management, nutrition, and wellness programs

Barrett says she is eager to hear from and help women Veterans with any questions, concerns, or feedback they may have. Her contact information is:

Joanne Barrett, RN, BSN, Women Veterans Program Manager, VA Providence, 830 Chalkstone Ave, Providence, RI 02908, Phone: 401-273-7100 ext. 16191, Email: [email protected]

More information from VA website on women’s program:

VA Providence health care supports the health, welfare, and dignity of female Veterans and their families by ensuring equal access to timely, sensitive, and quality care. A women Veteran care coordinator can help you get the services you need.

Our women’s health program offers women Veterans comprehensive care, including: 

Primary care


Maternity care, childbirth education classes, and postpartum support

Ultrasounds and mammograms

Mental health care and counseling

Lifestyle wellness services

Other resources

VA women’s health services – Find out more about the women’s health services offered as part of VA benefits.

Mental health care – Learn about the mental and behavioral health services available at VA Providence.

Patient advocates – When to contact a patient advocate at VA Providence and how they can help.

VA benefits for active service members – If you’re on active duty in the United States uniformed services, including active National Guard and Reserve, you may be eligible for benefits both during service and after separation or retirement. Find out which benefits you qualify for and when to apply.


Editor’s Note: We thank John A. Cianci for all his work on behalf of veterans and the Army-Navy game. As we recognize all John does, so did this week’s veterans column by veteran Frank Lennon, at the Providence Journal, shared, here:



January 13, 2024 , FREE Self Defense For Women, Saturday, 11:30AM – 230PM, South County Rec Center, 30 St. Domenic Rd. South Kingstown

Calling All Women Warriors of RI – The VFWRI Women Veterans Committee has put together this free selfdefense class for women veterans and active duty service members.

I know we are all super cool from our time serving, but it would be so much fun to do something empowering to remind us of how awesome we are, and to do it with a room full of amazing women warriors!!!

Link to register:

January 15, 202 FREE LUNCHEON for all veterans and their guest at VFW, 134 Shove Street, Tiverton, RI from 1130 am to 1300pm. This month’s meal will be chicken parmigiana, pasta, Caesar salad, and dessert. Sponsored by Building Bridges, Italian American War Veterans of US, VFW Tiverton RI, and Front Line Ministry for Freedom, Bristol RI. 

January 20, 11AM-2PM, VFW 2024 Educational Awards Luncheon, Quonset O’ Club, 200  LT. JAMES BROWN RD. NORTH KINGSTOWN RI , 435 per person, $280 / 8 per table. Buffet Style, all welcome . Point of Contact GINAMARIE DOHERTY 401-500-1721 email : [email protected]. Checks can be sent to VFWRI HQ, One Capitol Hill, Providence RI 02908. The Veterans of Foreign Wars Department of Rhode Island would like to announce this Fiscal Year’s 2023-2024 Educational & Awards Luncheon. This year’s event will be promoting the following programs:

· Patriots Pen Scholarship available for grades 6th-8th.

· Voice of Democracy Scholarship is available for grades 9th-12th.

· Teacher of the Year Award for any teacher from the grades K-12th.


Travel/Entertainment for Veterans

Free Golf, Goddard Park Golf Course Fee Exemption for Totally Disabled Veterans: Rhode Island resident Veterans who have a 100% permanent and total, service-connected disability rating from the VA are exempt from paying any fees to play golf at the Goddard Park Golf Course. For more information year-round at Division Headquarters at 401-667-6200.

Free Rhode Island Hunting and Fishing Licenses for 100% Disabled Veterans: A Veteran who has a 100% disability rating from the VA is eligible for free Rhode Island hunting and fishing licenses.

No cost licenses are available if you are:

·       over 65 AND a Rhode Island resident

·       a veteran with 100% disability status from the Department of Veterans Affairs

·       a person with 100% total disability status from the Social Security Administration

To apply in person at DEM, please bring a photo ID and an ORIGINAL DOCUMENT OF THE FINAL DECISION(S). Office hours are 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. (directions)

To apply by mail, please complete an application and mail the application and a copy of your photo ID and the ORIGINAL DOCUMENT OF THE FINAL DECISION(S). Please allow two weeks for processing.

The address to obtain your license in person or by mail is:
DEM Licensing Office
235 Promenade Street, Room 360
Providence, RI 02908
(401) 222-3576

To purchase online, you will be required to certify that you have an ORIGINAL DOCUMENT OF THE FINAL DECISION(S). You will also be required to enter the date the decision expires. The Department will audit compliance with the certification and may, at any time, request a copy of the current DOCUMENT OF THE FINAL DECISION(S). Failure to submit the documentation by the date requested may result in the suspension of your fishing and hunting license. Also, Rhode Island General Law 11-18-1 prohibits giving false documents to an agent, employee, or public official. The penalty is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $1,000 or imprisonment up to one year.

Rhode Island Hunting and Fishing Benefits for Service Members and Veterans: Rhode Island offers several hunting and fishing benefits to Service members and Veterans. A short description of each is listed below. Applicants are required to show documentationDept of Environmental Management logo proving eligibility when they apply:

· Active-Duty Service members – Military ID

· Veterans – DD214

· Disabled Veterans – VA Disability Certification Letter ( Contact VA office)

Applicants can apply online at Rhode Island Outdoors, in person at the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management, Office of Boating Registration and Licenses in Providence (Monday through Friday 8:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.), at an Authorized In-Person Sales Agent, or they can mail applications to:

Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management
235 Promenade Street, Room 360
Providence, RI 02908
Phone: 401-222-3576

Learn more about FREE Rhode Island Hunting , Fishing, State Parks, and Golf  Benefits for Service Members and Veterans,that%20issued%20the%20disability%20decision.

Free Rhode Island State Park Passes for 100% Disabled Veterans: Rhode Island offers the State Park Disability Pass for use at any state-owned recreational facility to disabled Veterans who have a 100% service-connected disability rating from the VA.

The State Park Disability Pass authorizes free admission and parking but does not exempt the following:

· Licensing fees

· Camping fees

· Picnic table fees

· Specialized facility use fees

· Use of equestrian areas

· Performing art centers

· Game fields fees

· Mule shed fees

If the disabled Veteran cannot drive, the vehicle transporting the Veteran will not be charged.

Veterans must apply in person at the Rhode Island State Parks and Recreation Headquarters and are required to show official documentation (dated within the past year) from the VA that states they have a 100% service-connected disability.

Rhode Island State Parks and Recreation Headquarters
1100 Tower Hill Road
North Kingstown, RI 02852
Phone: 401-667-6200
Email: [email protected]


Resources & ongoing groups 

Below are all the groups the Providence Vet Center is currently offering.  As this list changes, I will provide updates. Please send me any questions that you may have, thank you for your time! 

***All Vet Center Groups require that the Veteran be enrolled with the Vet Center prior to attending. To check eligibility or for questions, please contact the Vet Center at (401) 739-0167 or reach out to our Veteran Outreach Program Specialist (VOPS) via email at [email protected]*** 

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Group (PTSD) – 2nd and 4th Tuesday of the month from 2:00 – 3:30 p.m. (Group is only active September through May) 

Global War on Terrorism (GWOT) and Vietnam Veterans PTSD Group – 2nd and 4th  Wednesday of the month from 9:30 – 11:00 a.m. 

Vietnam Veteran PTSD Group – 1st and 3rd Monday of the month from 10:30 – 12:00 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. 

Art Expression Group – Every Thursday from 9:00 – 12:00 p.m. 

Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF)/Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF)/Operation New Dawn (OND) Group – Every Wednesday from 11:00 – 12:00 p.m. 

Stress Management – Every Thursday from 9:00 – 10:00 a.m. 

Low Impact Walking Group – Every Tuesday from 9:00 – 10:00 a.m. 

Guitar 4 Veterans – Every Wednesday from 7:00-8:30 p.m. 

Monday Mindfulness Group – Every Monday from 10:00 – 11:00 a.m. 

Yoga Group – Every Friday from 12:00 – 1:00 p.m. 

Moral Injury Group – Every Friday from 10:00 – 11:00 a.m. 

Modern Warrior Support Group – 1st and 3rd Monday of the month from 2:30 – 4:00 pm. 


Discount Offers


No Problem Plumbing and Heating LLC:  15% military discount, ask for Ron Gaynor, (401) 568-6666. Veterans must provide proof of eligibility with a VA Card, VA ID Card, or RI State license with veteran identification. 


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 07/31/2022. 

Denny’s – Hartford Ave, Johnston offers 10% discount for veterans and active duty. Denny’s is a table service diner-style restaurant chain. Last verified 07/31/2022. 

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 – 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. BJ’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 – 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% discount offers for 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. 

Jiffy Lube – HONORING VETERANS ALL DAY EVERY DAY! – 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 10% 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 3 select locations: Tioque Ave, Coventry RI – Bald Hill Road, Warwick RI – Park Ave, Cranston RI 

Michaels – 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 to: [email protected]:  the business’s 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, [email protected], 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, 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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