RI Veterans: Did you know? 23 December 21 – John A. Cianci

by John A Cianci, Department Veterans Service Officer,

                             Italian American War Veterans (ITAM)

Did you know a caregiver, family member, or friend who provides care to a Veteran can also receive the VA vaccine and booster shot at the VA?  For COVID-19 vaccine eligibility, we define a caregiver as a family member or friend who provides care to a Veteran. Caregivers may help a Veteran with personal needs like feeding, bathing, or dressing. They may also help a Veteran with tasks like shopping or transportation.

Question – How do I get a booster shot from Providence Veterans Administration? Mike C, Mapleville, RI

Answer – The easiest would be to call your VA provider directly, (401) 273-7100, Ext. 13021 or the COVID-19 clinic to schedule an appointment: contacted the Providence Veterans Medical facility, (401) 273-7100 , select zero for operator, and when operator answers tell them you are inquiring about the booster shots. A pre-recorded message will communicate to the caller the following information:

1.  Current clinic is open from 7:30am-3:30pm. Veterans, spouses, and caregivers are eligible for boosters.

2.  Providence VA clinic is offering both boosters; as of December 22, 2021, Providence VA Medical clinic is offering Pfizer and Moderna boosters.

3.  The clinic is currently scheduling appointments.

4.  Walk-ins are also welcomed.

5.  If you would like to schedule an appointment, leave your last name, and last four of your social security numbers, and the clinic will call you back and schedule an appointment.

Veterans with COVID-19 booster appointments are reminded of the following policies at the Providence VA Hospital:

Veterans with out-patient appointments will be allowed one caregiver if they are needed to assist Veterans to their appointments.

Veterans and Visitors will continue to be screened with screening questions and temperature checks.

All Veterans and visitors need to be masked while at the Medical Center. If you do not have a mask, one will be provided.

VETTIP Don’t forget to bring your vaccine record card with you.

Another option, is to contact your VA provider thru and send a secure message:

More Information on COVID-19 booster shots and additional from

COVID-19 booster shots and additional doses.

We follow Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance on COVID-19 booster shots and additional vaccine doses.

Why experts recommend booster shots and additional doses

COVID-19 vaccines continue to work well to prevent severe illness and death. Together, vaccines and booster shots provide the best protection against coronavirus variants like Delta and Omicron.

We expect these 2 variants to be the major causes of COVID-19 over the holidays.

Data shows that booster shots and additional doses can help people stay fully protected:

A booster shot can help you stay fully protected over time. Data shows that protection against milder illness lessens over time. This is especially true for certain groups of people. The CDC recommends that everyone who is at least 18 years old should get a booster shot. Teens ages 16 to 17 can also now get a booster shot. Learn about getting a booster shot.

Some people need an additional dose to get full protection. Certain groups of people may not have had a strong enough immune response from the first 2 doses. These groups should get both a third dose and then a booster shot 6 months after their third dose. Learn about getting an additional dose.

Note: Scientists are still studying how strong protection from the current COVID-19 vaccines will be against the new Omicron variant. But the vaccines offer strong protection against other variants. If we do find that there’s a variant different enough that a current vaccine won’t protect against it, you may need to get an updated vaccine. That shouldn’t prevent you from getting a booster now.

Getting a booster shot

The CDC recommends that everyone who is at least 18 years old should get a booster shot. Teens ages 16 and 17 can also now get a booster shot.

When to get your booster shot

If you got 2 doses of the Moderna or Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine: Get your booster 6 months after your second dose.

If you got the single-dose Janssen (J&J) COVID-19 vaccine: Get your booster 2 months after you got your vaccine.

Which vaccine to get for your booster

If you’re at least 18 years old, you can choose which vaccine to get for your booster dose. This is based on CDC recommendations that allow you to choose the same or a different type of vaccine for your booster.

The CDC now strongly recommends getting either the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccine for your booster.

Teens ages 16 and 17 can only get the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for their booster dose. The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is the only vaccine currently authorized for teens ages 16 and 17.

Not all VA health facilities have all types of vaccines right now. And facilities may offer different vaccines at different times. Confirm that the facility has the vaccine you want before you come in to get your booster.

If you have questions about which vaccine to get, talk to your health care team.

Send a secure message to your VA provider.

How to get a booster shot at VA

·      You can only get a booster shot if you completed your primary vaccine series.

·      If you’re a Veteran who receives care through VA

·      Your local VA health facility will contact you when you’re due for your shot. Your facility may offer you a booster by appointment or in a walk-in vaccine clinic.


VFW State Commander Wants You – Christmas Carolers on Christmas Morning

Veterans of Foreign War State Commander Dora Vasquez-Hellner will lead Christmas carolers Christmas morning bringing cheer and holiday spirit to our veterans at the Rhode Island Veterans Home, Bristol, RI.

Hellner is looking for volunteers to participate as carolers. She encourages Christmas attire to lift the Veterans spirits at the Veterans home. Even if caroling is not your thing, show up and be part of an effort to bring holiday cheer to the veterans.

Unbeknown to many, a good portion of the Veterans have no family or friends, many outliving their own children. Moreover, their Christmas will be residing in their home, the Rhode Island Veteran Home.

With the challenges of staffing, the Veterans home will have skeleton staff to care and ensure the safety of the 127 current residents at the home.

Hellner, a retired First Sergeant, hopes the morning caroling will bring some holiday cheer to the Veterans at the home.

VETTIP:  Be on time. Hellner being a retired airborne first sergeant, special forces group will be starting promptly at 900am.

Carolers and all participants will gather in the back parking lot of the Veterans Home at 0845 on Christmas morning and then proceed from courtyard to courtyard of neighborhoods A, B, C, D and E to sing carols and bring cheer to the 130 residents.

All activities will be outdoors; please dress for the weather. Holiday costumes and attire are highly encouraged.

Song books, hot chocolate, and water will be provided. Comrades are encouraged to bring snacks and treats to share. More information: email

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,

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).



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 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 (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: 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. 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.


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 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 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 ,  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.