A Memorial Day banner showcasing the date, May 29th.

RI Veterans: Did you know? 25.5.23 (Memorial Day events, discounts, resources) – John A. Cianci

by John A. Cianci, contributing writer on veterans issues

Question from one of our readers:

Home Depot no longer accepts my veteran designation on my license; how do I sign up for the Home Depot veteran discount? Casey, N. Smithfield


To receive the military discount, you would have to register online

Use SheerID –  – This process takes less than 5 minutes.

Active military, veterans and their spouses enjoy 10% off eligible purchases, up to $400 annually. Use your di­scount online or in store through your Home Depot account.

• For registration issues, visit

Did you know military and eligible veterans can purchase appliances from Home Depot through the ShopMyExchange site – -and pay no sales tax?

Advantages of purchasing Home Depot major appliances thru the military exchange:

·      Home Depot military exclusive prices

·      FREE delivery of appliances from Home Depot

·      No RI sales tax

·      Guarentee 1% saving less than Home Depot online price

VETTIP – We compared purchasing direct from Home Depot online to using the military exchange for the exact stove:

$728 at Home Depot        $720 on military          Saving $8 dollars  

7% RI sales tax $50.96     NO SALES Tax.         Saving $50.96

Add the $51 dollars you saved on sales tax in RI, you save $58.96 purchasing the stove thru military site. 

Both had the same estimated delivery day.

Let’s not forget purchasing items thru the military shopping sites. You are supporting the troops: all profits from sales go back to support military recreational events for members of the military and their news and military discounts.


Post-9/11 Combat Veterans – Don’t miss this special Health Care Enrollment period

The one-year special health care enrollment period for post-9/11 combat Veterans began October 1, 2022.

You may already know the PACT Act expands health care eligibility for many Veterans. One group that may be eligible for expanded benefits are post-9/11 Veterans. A one-year special health care enrollment period for post-9/11 combat Veterans began on October 1, 2022. Help spread the word before the special enrollment period ends.

Post-9/11 Veterans health care eligibility

If you meet the requirements below, you can enroll in VA health care before October 1, 2023.

To be eligible, one of the following must be true:

§  You served on active duty in a theater of combat operations during a period of war after the Persian Gulf War, or

§  You served in combat against a hostile force during a period of hostilities after November 11, 1998

And both of these must be true

§  You were discharged or released between September 11, 2001, and October 1, 2013, and

§  You haven’t enrolled in VA health care before

Post-9/11 Veterans discharged or released on or after October 1, 2013, are not subject to the special enrollment period but can enroll within 10 years of their separation or discharge date. Review more eligibility requirements on

We encourage Veterans to apply, no matter their separation date. Your eligibility depends on your service history and other factors.


May is Military Caregiver Month

These selfless individuals provide care and support for our nation’s heroes, who have sacrificed so much to protect our country. As we commemorate this May, it’s important to recognize and appreciate the dedication and hard work of these caregivers.

Military caregivers come from all walks of life and are often family members or close friends of the veteran they care for. They provide a range of services, from emotional support to physical care and medical management. Many caregivers are also responsible for managing household duties, financial responsibilities, and other important tasks.

This May, we want to celebrate the incredible contributions of military caregivers and highlight the resources available to support them. The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Caregiver Support Program (CSP) offers a range of services and resources, including education and training, counseling and support, and respite care.

The CSP’s mission is to promote the health and well-being of caregivers who care for our nation’s veterans. By providing support and resources, the CSP helps caregivers navigate the VA health care system and access the resources they need to care for their loved ones.

If you’re a caregiver of a veteran, I encourage you to reach out to Kimberly Cross, LICSW, CCM Caregiver Support Program Coordinator at the Providence VA Medical Center. You can contact Kimberly directly at 401-273-7100 x14308.

In addition, Operation Connect offers a free resource guide for Military Members, Veterans, and their families. This guide provides information on a wide range of topics, from health care and education to employment and housing. You can download Operation Connect for free at



Memorial Day 2023

May 26-29, 2023  Fort Adams, 90 Fort Ave. Newport RI , Boots on the Ground for Heroes Memorial.

In 2016, Operation Stand Down RI launched the Boots on the Ground for Heroes Memorial which presented almost 7,000 combat boots adorned with flags and placards. 

Each boot represents the life of a U.S. service member killed in action post 9-11 in the Global War on Terror.

The placard attached to each boot displays the name and photo of the fallen along with biographical information, military branch, rank and circumstances of death. The Memorial is updated yearly to incorporate additional U.S. service members killed in the ongoing Global War on Terror.

The boots, adorned by the name placards, are alphabetized and organized by State and U.S. Territories. This allows those with a personal connection to locate a specific fallen hero’s boot. Many times, family, friends and comrades of the fallen can be seen solemnly viewing a particular boot and leaving a memento. Since its inception, over ten thousand visitors from all over the U.S. have visited during Memorial Day Weekend.

The first three years the Memorial was displayed at Roger Williams Park in Providence. In 2019, the Memorial was displayed at Fort Adams State Park in Newport. Fort Adams is one of the oldest military posts in the Country.

The Boots on the Ground for Heroes Memorial will be displayed at Fort Adams in Newport over Memorial Day Weekend May 26th – 29th, 2023. Hours are Friday, Saturday, and Sunday 8AM – 8PM, and Monday 8AM – 6PM. Admission is free for all attendees.


May 26, 2023, Friday, Friday, South Kingstown Nursing Home (SKNH) , West Kingstown RI, Memorial Service. The Italian American War Veterans of US will partner with SKNH for an outdoor BBQ after the service.

May 28, 2023 Exeter Memorial Day Parade 1:00 om along Rt. 102 . From Sunderland Road to Exeter library. Ceremony following at Exeter lLbrary. 

May 28, 2023, Sunday, 21st Annual Charlestown Memorial Day Parade

The Charlestown Memorial Day Committee, Inc.’s 21st annual Charlestown Memorial Day Parade and Observances will be held on Sunday, May 28, 2023 rain or shine, produced and directed by the Charlestown Memorial Day Parade Committee and the Charlestown Chamber of Commerce.

The events are held to give honor to our fallen military heroes. The parade will step off at 1:00 p.m., the line of March will be along Route 1A (Old Post Road) in Charlestown beginning at Compass Hardware and ending at Charlestown Liquor Store.  Lieutenant Colonel (Retired), Medical Services Corps, United States Army, Joanne E. McGovern, will be this year’s Grand Marshal.  LTC (Retired) Joanne E. McGovern will be the first woman Grand Marshal for our parade, and we are exalted to have someone as well decorated as her serve in this esteemed roll.

Memorial observances will be held during two parade stops at the cemetery at Cross’ Mills Baptist Church and at the brook near Town Dock Road; and also, immediately following the parade, at the Charlestown Naval Airfield Memorial at Ninigret Park at approximately 2:15pm. The three observances honor those who died in the service of our Country, on land, at sea, and in the air, respectively.

“We are honored to continue to bring the Charlestown Memorial Day Parade and Observances to Charlestown again this year,” says Chairman and Parade Coordinator Heather Paliotta, also Executive Director of the Charlestown Chamber of Commerce.   “It is our privilege to hold this annual tradition and remembrance, we are pleased to be able bring our community together to show our great appreciation and respect to remember those who have served and made the ultimate sacrifice for our country.”

This year we invite all Rhode Island Gold Star Families not only to participate in the Memorial following the parade, but if so inclined to march in our parade next to our Gold Star Float.  Please contact Heather Paliotta, Parade Chair and Charlestown Chamber of Commerce Executive Director, to participate at 401-364-3878.


Memorial Day was first observed nationally in 1868 as Decoration Day, established by General John Logan, the commander-in-chief of the Grand Army of the Republic (G.A.R., an organization of Union veterans of the Civil War.) His General Orders, No. 11, stated, “The 30th day of May, 1868, is designated for the purpose of strewing with flowers, or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country during the late rebellion, and whose bodies now lie in almost every city, village and hamlet churchyard in the land.”

Today, 155 years later, flags again commemorate the empty graves of our Civil War soldiers whose bodies never returned home, their names preserved in stone: W.H. Burton, William H. Carpenter, B.F. Hawkes, Samuel Hazard, Reuben A. Healey, Welcome H. Kenyon, Halsey Stevens, William Taylor. In the same cemetery, beside the Cross’ Mills Baptist Church, lie nine Charlestown veterans of the American Revolutionary War, the War of 1812, and the French & Indian War.

The Charlestown Memorial Day Committee honors all who have made the ultimate sacrifice in all of our nation’s wars, in an annual Parade and Observances. The Gold Star Memorial float recognizes local World War II casualties, and the POW/MIA recognizes those who never returned from war, recorded as Prisoners of War or Missing in Action.

More information, email us at[email protected], or call parade chair Heather Paliotta at 401-364-3878.


May 29, 2023, Monday – FREE Appreciation Macaroni and Meatball Luncheon, Badgers Pub, 530 Broadway Pawtucket, RI, for veteran and one guest, 12:00 to 5:00pm. Sponsored by the Italian American War Veterans of US.


May 29, 2023, Warwick RI Monday, beginning 10:00 a.m. Warwick Veterans Park (next to Warwick Vets Middle School)  The Annual City of Warwick Memorial Day Commemoration will be held. The General Public is invited to attend and participate in the Flag Retirement Ceremony. Please prepare your old, faded or tattered flags by separating the red and white stripes. The blue field may remain whole.

This is a beautiful , family-friendly ceremony steeped in tradition. We hope to see you there.


May 29, 2023, Exeter, RI, 1:00 p.m  Monday, RI Veterans Memorial Cemetery, 301 County Trail, Exeter RI. State of Rhode island 49th Annual Memorial Ceremony.


May 29, 2023 – 10am – Warwick’s Memorial Day Ceremony – A Memorial Day ceremony will take place at Veterans Memorial Park, located outside of Veterans Middle School. Mayor Frank Picozzi and Representative Camille Vella-Wilkinson will be joined by members of the Disabled American Veterans for a wreath laying ceremony, along with Wawick’s Police and Fire Honor Guard.

A flag retirement ceremony will also take place. The city is asking the public to bring their old and tattered flags. According to the U.S Flag Code: “The flag, when it is in such condition that it is no longer a fitting emblem for display, should be destroyed in a dignified way, preferably by burning.”


June 5, 2023, Monday Federal Hill Veteran Coffee House (always meet the FIRST Monday of the month), 9-11 am. Roma Ristorante, 310 Atwells Ave, Providence (free parking across the street). Veterans and their guests are invited. Refreshments are available, which include Italian toast, pastries, and calzones. Any questions call Italian American War Veterans of US, (401) 677-9838, email, [email protected]


June 10, 2023 ,12:00 p.m. at Tomaselli’s at Rosario, Honor Flight Cigar Dinner Fundraiser, Cranston Firefighters IAFF Local 1363, Chuck Pollock and Armand Niquette are hosting a Benefit Cigar Dinner in support of the RI Fire Chiefs Honor Flight Hub . Tomaselli’s at Rosario, 17 Rosario Drive, Providence. There will be an Italian buffet, cash bar, raffles and cigars will be provided by Mr. Cigar & Cigar World. 

Donations to attend the event are $65.00 per person. If you, your friends or company would like to attend and support this event and the RIFC Honor Flight Hub please call Chuck Pollock at 401-569-2800 or Armand Niquette at 401-486-4991.


June 17, 2023 (Saturday) – Adopt a Veteran, 10:30 to 12:00 p.m. 

Friendly Home, Woonsocket RI and Italian American War Veterans of US (ITAM) and volunteers have partnered to host a monthly Veteran Coffee Hour for the veterans at the facility. 


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. 


Discounts for Veterans 


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 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, 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.