A man wearing a blue jacket.

RI Veterans: Did you know? 18-8-22 (Mortgage Life Ins, Victory Day update…) – John A. Cianci

by John A. Cianci, Department Veterans Service Officer, Italian American War Veterans (ITAM)

Last week’s column covered Service-Disabled Veteran Insurance and those veterans collecting service connected  eligible for FREE insurance:

This week’s topic will be for Veterans’ Mortgage Life insurance (VMLI) offered by the VA for veterans. One feature unique to this mortgage insurance, veteran’s service connected disabilities cannot disqualify a veteran for being eligible for the veterans’ mortgage insurance. Simply put, a veteran could have been deemed ineligible for private mortgage insurance due to his or her disabilities. 

More information from the VA website on VMLI:

Veterans’ Mortgage Life Insurance (VMLI)

Veterans’ Mortgage Life Insurance (VMLI) offers mortgage protection insurance to the families of Veterans with severe service-connected disabilities who’ve adapted a home to fit their needs. Find out if you qualify—and how to apply and manage your coverage.

Am I eligible for Veterans’ Mortgage Life Insurance?

You may be eligible for VMLI if you meet all of these requirements.

All of these must be true:

  • You have a severe disability that we’ve concluded was caused—or made worse—by your service, and
  • You received a Specially Adapted Housing (SAH) grant to buy, build, or make changes (like installing ramps or widening doorways) to a home so you can live more independently, and
  • You have the title of the home, and
  • You have a mortgage on the home, and

You’re under 70 years old

Find out if you qualify for an SAH grant—and how to apply

Who’s covered?

  • Service members
  • Veterans

What kind of life insurance benefits can I get with VMLI?

Up to $200,000 in mortgage life insurance—paid directly to the bank or other lender that holds your mortgage.

Important details about VMLI:

  • The money will be paid directly to the bank or other lender that holds your mortgage—not to a life insurance beneficiary (a person chosen to receive the money from a policy when the insured dies).
  • The amount of coverage will equal the amount you still owe on your mortgage, but won’t be more than $200,000.
  • VMLI is a decreasing-term insurance. This means your coverage amount goes down as your mortgage balance goes down. If you pay off your mortgage, your VMLI coverage will end.
  • VMLI has no loan or cash value—and it doesn’t pay dividends (cash payments made to policy holders when the company makes a profit).

How do I get these benefits?

First, you’ll need to apply for an SAH grant. If you get the SAH grant, your loan guaranty agent will tell you if you qualify for VMLI. If you already have an SAH grant, ask your agent about VMLI.

Your agent will help you fill out a Veterans’ Mortgage Life Insurance Statement (VA Form 29-8636).
Get VA Form 29-8636 to download

Note: Remember, you must apply for VMLI before your 70th birthday.

How much will I pay for these benefits?

Your VMLI premium will be based on all of these factors:

  • Your age, and
  • The current balance of your mortgage loan, and
  • How many more mortgage payments you need to make to pay off your mortgage, and
  • The amount of VMLI coverage you need

Use our VMLI Premium Calculator to figure out what your premium may be.
Go to the VMLI Premium Calculator

What happens if I move, refinance, or make other changes to my mortgage?

The home covered by VMLI must be your primary residence (the home where you live most of the time).

To keep your VMLI coverage, you’ll need to let us know if you make any of these changes:

  • Move, or
  • Transfer your mortgage from one lender to another, or
  • Liquidate your mortgage (such as giving up the home through foreclosure or bankruptcy liquidation because you can’t pay the mortgage), or
  • Refinance your home (take out a new mortgage loan under different terms), or
  • Sell your property

Send notice of any changes to:

Department of Veterans Affairs
Regional Office and Insurance Center
PO Box 7208 (VMLI)
Philadelphia, PA 19101

Now you know about two types of insurance offered by the VA for disabled-service connected veterans – Service-Disabled Veteran Insurance and Veterans’ Mortgage LIfe Insurance.


UPDATE on Victory Day, August 14, 2022

Operation Iraqi Freedom Veterans celebrated Victory Day with Coast Guard World War II Veteran Louie Dolce, 98 years old, at the Providence FOP Club in Providence RI

From second to left, Marc Ferreira, Sergeant OIF, Sean Comella, SPC, Louie Dolce 98 years old WWII Coast Guard Veteran, Patrick Potter, CPT OIF and Commander 115th MP Co Operation Spot and Shield, and Kevin Brunelle, OIF Sergeant and First Sergeant Operation Spot and Shield.

Louie Dolce showing off remade dogs tags from WWII presented by Desert Shield/Storm and OIF Veterans John Cianci


RI Veterans: Did you know?” Sponsor – Precision Home Lending


August 27 2022, Salute To Summer Concert and Fireworks, 2:00 p.m to 9:30 p.m US Naval Station, Newport RI (open to the public)

VETTIP – I have attended and the setting is awesome. Moreover, during the fireworks patriotic music is played, which was helpful in my adjustments to sounds of fireworks since returning from combat.

Get this event on your calendar – it’s an annual “not to miss”!

The Naval Station Newport’s Morale, Welfare and Recreation Department continues to make preparations and final arrangements for the installation’s annual “Salute to Summer” concert and fireworks show to be held Saturday, August 27 at the installation.

“This year’s celebration is shaping up to be a very exciting event, with so many activities, great entertainment and food choices,” shared Dean Weidman, Director of Morale, Welfare and Recreation at the base. “We are going to make this Salute to Summer a most memorable event for the public and our installation.”

According to Weidman, musical performances scheduled for this year’s event include:

The Naticks, voted Best Rhode Island Indie Band in 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2021 in Rhode Island Monthly’s readers’ poll.

Down City Band, playing a wide range of genres, including blues, classic rock, country, pop and more

Navy Band Northeast, based at the installation, one of 11 Navy bands worldwide, which plays a wide variety of top-40, popular, rock and patriotic music beyond the ceremonial support it provides for military services and events.

Food/Family Fun

This year’s Salute to Summer will also feature great offerings for the taste buds, in addition to the sights and sounds guests will experience from the concert and fireworks shows.

Alcoholic beverages will be offered for sale by the installation MWR program.

All afternoon and into the evening there will be activities and entertainment offered in addition to the music and food. Local vendors and groups will offer face painting, balloon art, caricatures and mobile gaming as part of the experiences guests can purchase or take part in during the event.


Open to the General Public!

2 p.m.  
Dewey Field gates open to authorized ID holders with base access

Food Trucks: 
– Jaju Pierogi
– Spanglish
– Red’s Street Kitchen
– Newport Chowder Company
– Saugy’s
– Ben & Jerry’s
– Black Dog Donuts
– Hometown Poke
– Ja Patty
– Twisted T’s

Kid’s Area: 
– Toe Jam Puppet Band
– Face Painting
– Wishkers
– Mermaid Masterpieces

3 p.m.
The Naticks

4 p.m.
Gate 1 opens for general public, pedestrian traffic only

5 p.m.
Down City Band

7 p.m.
Navy Band Northeast
~9:15 p.m.

More information and rules to follow to enjoy the event,  go to

If you go, take some pix and send them to RINewstoday or to me and we may use them in next week’s article!



Below are all of 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.


Discounts for Veterans


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 Ave, 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 –  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 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 – 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, 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.