RI Veterans: Did you know? 20 January 22 – John A. Cianci

by John A Cianci, Department Veterans Service Officer,

                             Italian American War Veterans (ITAM)

First, we start with a question we received:

Question. The VA has not paid the urgent care provider I needed to see back in June 2021 when I cut my hand mowing the lawn on a Sunday. Who should I contact? Mike B. North Smithfield

Answer. After several communications with Mike, the issue is not with the VA, the issue was that the provider Mike used was not in the VA network. Moreover, Mike did not follow the guidelines by asking the provider if they were in the VA network.

Although Mike was eligible for the urgent care on Sunday without VA prior approval, it appears he is responsible for payment as VA does not have legal authority to pay for the care to a provider outside the network, without prior approval. Comrades, spend the time and read this week’s blog. VETERANS ELIGIBLE FOR FREE COMMUNITY URGENT CARE WITHOUT VA APPROVAL

Did you know non-VA Urgent is FREE for most eligible veterans at dozens of privately operated locations throughout Rhode Island, without PRIOR VA approval. Do you have Urgent Care card explaining procedures available on your phone or printed and up on the fridge to ensure the VA will pay for the care? 

Print the Urgent Care Assistance Card  (or have it viewable on your mobile device) and take it with you to your urgent care visit and in-network pharmacy. Do this today so when you’re not feeling well you won’t need to search and explain to your family what to do. 

Have you explained to your family what the VA Urgent Care benefit is? 

VA offers urgent care services to eligible Veterans at VA medical facilities or at in‑network urgent care clinics closer to home.

What is considered Urgent Care?

Use VA’s urgent care benefit to treat minor injuries and illnesses that are not life-threatening, such as colds, strep throat, sprained muscles, and skin and ear infections. According to, covered services are:

The urgent care benefit covers services provided by urgent care centers and walk-in retail health clinics such as:

  • Colds, minor injuries, skin and ear infections, pink eye, strep throat, and more.
  • Diagnostic services like X-rays, some lab testing and some medications (with limitations).
  • Therapeutic vaccines when these are required for the treatment of certain covered conditions.

Who is eligible for Urgent Care?]

To be eligible for urgent care, Veterans must:

  • Be enrolled in the VA health care system AND
  • Have received care through VA from either a VA or community provider within the past 24 months

VETTIP – To check eligibility, contact your local VA medical facility OR call 800-MyVA411 (800-698-2411), select option 1, then option 3, and then option 1 again.

How do I access urgent care?

Use VA’s Facility Locator at Find VA Locations | Veterans Affairs
Find VA Locations | Veterans AffairsFind a VA medical center, clinic, hospital, national cemetery, or VA regional office near you. You can search by…

What do I do when I arrive?

Tell the urgent care provider you would like to use your VA urgent care benefit and confirm they are part of the VA’s network

VETTIP – Make sure you have your VA health card, although without, the provider can validate your eligibility by calling 866-620-2071. I know I have the VA Urgent Care Card in my wallet and fridge and have referenced to assist other veteran can immediate care for injuries. In conclusion comrades, take the time to make information easily available to yourself, it could save you hundreds of dollars 


January 22, 2022 , 2-8 p.m., Rhode Island National Guard Reunion, Orlando, Florida, 13110 Lake Mary Jane Road, Orlando FL., $20 per person. More information contact Patti Ryan,

January 29, 2022, Marine Corps, 1-4pm, Open House, Cranston FOP 1344 Cranston Street, Cranston RI , the Department of Rhode Island, Marine Corps league will be hosting.The Department of Rhode Island of the Marine Corps League is looking to add some more fireteams to its ranks. If you are Active Duty, Marine veteran or served in the Navy with the FMFand miss the camaraderie, serving your community, enjoying time with those who understand you then this is the organization for you!



Denny’s, Hartford Save Johnston Offers 10% discount for veterans and active duty . Denny's is a table service diner-style restaurant chain. Last verified 07/31/2028

Outback Steakhouse: 10% Discount to active and veterans. Last verified 07/28/202199 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

Retailers Advance Auto Parts: 10% for Active Duty, Veterans and families. Last verified 07/28/2021

Bass Pro Shops: Bass Pro Shops offers a 5% discount to active-duty military,reservists, and National Guard. Sign up and verify your status online or bring yourmilitary ID when you shop at your nearest Bass Pro store (source).

BJs Wholesale: Reduced membership fee. J’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: 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% Kohl’s offers 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.

Michaels: Michaels Stores 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 Michael’s 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 in to 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, the business’s name, location, and military and veteran discount offered.


If you have an event, meeting, other pertinent veteran information, or email questionsor help needed, contact the Italian American War Veteran Service Officer, John ACianci,, ITAM Office 1-(401)677-9VET(9838)

If you are a retailer and or a veteran aware of a business not listed above, please forward ,  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,, 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.

1 Comment

  1. Karl antonevich on January 21, 2022 at 1:19 am

    Good job as usual John and us concerned vets are still waiting for our STATE reps to fix the high cable and therapy costs.