RI Veterans: Did you know? 30 December 21 – John A. Cianci

Question: How do I get a COVID-19 test for my father, a veteran enrolled at Providence VA Medical Center actively using the Providence VA Medical Center (Providence VAMC)?  He has COVID-19 symptoms, and he has underlying conditions and I don’t know what to do to get him an immediate COVID-19 test? Wendy C, Smithfield RI.

Answer: Just a few days ago, another family reached out to the Italian American War Veterans( ITAM) Veteran Service Officer (VSO), looking for help to get a veteran a COVID test. The same day, the veteran had the test and results by the the Providence VAMC. 

To assist you in getting a veteran a COVID-19 test at the Providence VAMC: 

1.    Call the Providence VA Medical main number, (401) 273-7100 and select option 2. 

2.    Select option 2 again, for the call center.

3.    Once the call center answers (less than five minutes), the caregiver explains the veteran’s symptoms and requests an immediate COVID-19 test. 

4.    The call center advises the caregiver to have the veteran report to the Providence VAMC, Chalkstone Ave, Providence RI, urgent care section.

5.    Ensure in your initial communication at Providence VAMC that the veteran needs to report to urgent care for a COVID-19 test. 

VETTIP: Urgent Care is right as you walk in behind the welcome desk.

6.    Check in at the desk located in the Urgent Care department.

7.    The VA will take the veteran to the area for a COVID-19 test.

8.    After the test, return home and the VA will contact you in a few hours to advise on results of the test. 

Many Rhode Island veterans using the Providence VAMC, have recently received emails from the Boston Veterans Administration Medical Center (Boston VAMC) causing confusion. The letters provided information for the Boston VA Medical Center COVID testing procedures. The information in the emails:  

COVID Testing News release From Boston VAMC:

Starting Monday, Jan. 3, 2022, we will offer COVID-19 testing on demand for Veterans who are enrolled in VA health care. There is no medical evaluation or treatment provided by the testing clinics. If you have mild symptoms and are concerned about COVID-19 infection, we can provide a test with instructions for follow-up as needed.

If you wish to discuss your health concerns with a nurse, please call 800-865-3384. 

COVID Testing Site Locations and Hours:

Jamaica Plain Campus   West Roxbury Campus   Brockton Campus
Ambulatory Care Entrance Room F1-22  Building 2 Entrance/Vestibule    Building 3 Room 131A
M-F, 7 a.m. – 3 p.m.      M-F, 6 a.m. – 2 p.m.   M-F, 7 a.m. – 3 p.m.

We will contact you with the results, but you can also find your results in your My HealtheVet account under Labs + Tests. If you have not been contacted with results within 24 hours, you can  call the Clinical Contact Center at 800-865-3384. researched and reached out to Providence VAMC for similar guidance for veterans using Providence VAMC seeking COVID-19. Unfortunately, Providence VAMC appears not to have published COVID-19 offering. 

In summary, RINEWSTODAY knows two veterans who have followed the aforementioned steps to receive a COVID-19 test at the Providence VAMC. Unofficial sources at the Providence VAMC, confirmed to us that the Providence VAMC will have similar COVID testing to that of the Boston VAMC.

Once Providence VAMC updates procedures for veterans seeking COVID-19 testing, RINEWSTODAY will update our readers. 



Supplies Shipped to Kentucky Veterans Impacted by Tornadoes 

Kentucky veterans impacted by the tornadoes received a truckload of supplies donated and shipped by Berard-Desjarlais American Legion Post #88, Burrillville RI. 

The shipment arrived on Tuesday/Immediately after the truck arrived in Kentucky. The generators, coolers, extension cords, and other scarce supplies were distributed to the veterans.

Cynthia’s Request For Alternative Feeding For Veteran At the Providence VAMC

Cynthia followed our advice contacting the White House VA Hotline, 1-855-948-2311.

After Cynthia contacted the hotline, Providence VAMC has been providing alternative feeding options for Virgil, instead of letting him starve to death because he needed a procedure and the Providence VAMC did not have the ability to do. 

Virgil is receiving alternate feeding options; TPN nutrition through IV. 

Cynthia was able to visit Virgil the day before Christmas, which brought her an early Christmas present, especially since Virgil was responsive during the visit. 

The doctor is advising Cynthia with the TPN nutrition. The hope is Virgil will get stronger and be able to have another swallowing test in 7-10 days, which could lead to Virgil returning home. 

In summary, with Cynthia’s persistence and guidance from the Italian American War Veterans, Virgil continues to fight to live. It began by contacting the White House VA Hotline.

In addition, U.S Senator’s office is working with Cynthia to ensure Virgil receives the care as her decisions for Virgil’s best interests are followed by the Providence VAMC. 

Bottom line. If a veteran or family member is not satisfied with Providence VAMC care of their veteran, other resources are available to bring their concerns to. Moreover, the majority of Veterans have Medicare and the veteran and the family can transport the veteran to a private facility.  

We all are praying for Virgil’s recovery and return home. 

Discount Updates

Veterans Can Now Use the Home Depot Military Discount

Home Depot announced a new policy for all U.S. veterans, active-duty service members and their spouses now qualify for the 10% military discount everyday at all Home Depots, thanks to an expansion announced by the home improvement retailer.

In the past, only active-duty troops, military retirees and their dependents could use the discount. Veterans were permitted to use it only on Memorial Day, July 4, and Veterans Day. 

The 10% military discount is also now newly valid for online purchases in addition to in-store shopping, officials announced in a press release. Qualifying shoppers must create an account and then verify their military status in order to access the discount online and through the Home Depot app.  

The military discount is available for eligible purchases up to a $400 maximum annual discount and can be used every day throughout the year.


January 3, 2022, Monday, Federal Hill Veteran Coffee House, 9-11am, ROMA, Atwells Ave, Providence RI. All veterans and their guest are invited. Join the Italian American War Veterans and auxiliary feasting on Italian toast and pastries starting off a new year of camaraderie. 

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).



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, veterans, 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 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 questions or help needed, contact the Italian American War Veteran Service Officer, John A Cianci,, ITAM Office 1-(401)677-9VET(9838) 

Happy New Year to all our readers!


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.

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