RI Veterans: Did you know? 3 February 22 – John A. Cianci

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

UPDATE VA Emergency Community Care 

Last week I was involved in a six-car accident in Burrillville, RI.  Due to the impact of being rear-ended and sandwiched between a car and truck, I suffered injuries that required immediate medical attention. An ambulance transported me from the accident  scene to the local hospital.

Immediately upon arrival at the hospital, I identified myself as a veteran and all services needed by me would be billed to the VA. 

After being discharged from the hospital, the following day, I notified the VA Emergency Care, calling 1-844-724-7842. A representative came on the line, and after providing some additional details, I was given a confirmation number for future reference.

Comrades, I cannot emphasis the importance of understanding the benefits and procedures of how and when a veteran can use community urgent and emergency care without the VA pre-approval. 

VETTIP – Recommend you save the VA Emergency Care number 1-844-724-7842 on your cell phone. In addition, place the information with emergency contact information. Moreover, explain to your spouse, care-giver, family, or someone caring for you the VA Emergency Care procedures. 

Understanding and knowing could save a veteran thousands of dollars of co-payment and or erroneous billing by private care providers. 

More information on when and how you can use community emergency room care: 

Did you know during a medical emergency, Veterans should immediately seek care at the nearest medical facility? A medical emergency is an injury, illness or symptom so severe that without immediate treatment, an individual believes his or her life or health is in danger. 

If a Veteran believes his or her life or health is in danger, call 911 or report to the nearest emergency department right away. 

Veterans do not need to check with VA before calling for an ambulance or going to an emergency department. During a medical emergency, VA encourages all Veterans to seek immediate medical attention without delay. It is, however, important to promptly notify VA within 72 hours of presenting to the emergency room.

Veterans, their representatives, and in-network community providers should report instances of a Veteran presenting to a community emergency room to VA within 72 hours of the start of emergent care. Out-of-network providers are encouraged to notify VA as soon as possible.

Notifying VA in a timely fashion is important because:

Allows VA to assist the Veteran in coordinating necessary care or transfer,

helps ensure that the administrative and clinical requirements for VA to pay for the care are met and may impact a Veteran’s eligibility for VA to cover the cost of emergency treatment.

Case-specific details are necessary for care coordination and eligibility determinations. Providers, Veterans and representatives can utilize any one of the following options to report emergency services:

·      Online: Emergency Care Reporting

·      Phone: 844-72HRVHA (844-724-7842)

·      In-person: Appropriate VA official at the nearest VA medical facility

The person contacting VA should be prepared to supply the information shown in the table below. If the caller is unable to supply all information, VA will engage with the appropriate parties to attempt to collect the information.


GI Bill Users Required to Verify Attendance

Did you know all GI Bill users are required to verify attendance each month before receiving any payments? 

A new rule took effect in August requiring many Post-9/11 GI Bill users to verify their school attendance with the Department of Veterans Affairs each month before receiving any payments. Starting this December, that requirement will be expanded to all Post-9/11 GI Bill recipients.

For all GI Bill users who are attending a technical school, also known as a “non-college degree” or NCD school, must verify their school attendance with the VA each month in order to receive their Monthly Housing Allowance, according to a VA press release.

For most students, this will be done via text message.

After enrolling in courses, students will receive a text message from the VA inviting them to enroll in text message verification. They can reply “Yes” to opt in.

At the end of each month, students will receive a text from the VA asking whether they are still enrolled in classes. If they respond affirmatively, their Monthly Housing Allowance will be sent to their bank at the beginning of the following month, the release says.

Those who fail to verify their attendance with the VA for two months in a row will have their housing allowance payments withheld until they do so, it adds.

If students don’t receive the text message, don’t opt into the service, or don’t have a mobile phone, they will be required to contact the VA by calling the GI Bill hotline at 888-442-4551 to receive payment.

Comrades, if you did not receive your monthly GI Bill stipend on February 1, 2022, the aforementioned requirement could be the reason.



AARP offers a free career center for veterans, . The center offers a free course, Veterans Career Advantage,  job search tool for companies seeking veteran employees, link to access what a good resume looks like, and other tips for veterans seeking employment.  

Federal Hill Veterans Coffee House, 9-11am, Monday, February 7, ROMA Deli, Atwells Ave, Providence RI. The pm Open House, The Italian American War Veterans will be hosting the monthly coffee house, which meets the first Monday of every month at ROMA. If you are a veteran or active duty solider, come on out and join ITAM for some Italian toast and pastries. All veterans and their guest are invited. For more information, contact John at or (401) 567-9838.

Northern Rhode Island Coffee House, Tuesday, February 8, 9am-12 noon, Burrillville Allied Veterans Council host the monthly coffee house, which meets the second Tuesday of every month at the American Legion Post 88, 111 Chapel Street, Harrisville. The Town of Burrillville Veteran Service Officer, Linda D’Andrea Peck and the Italian American War Veteran Service Officer, John A Cianci are available to assist veterans in applying and understanding their veterans. 




Applebees – 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. 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.

1 Comment

  1. Joanne Malys on February 3, 2022 at 5:28 pm

    Sry to learn of your accident. Tks for sharing info. Did receive copy of John’s DD214. In the process of getting grave marker through local county veterans service