A group of veterans are standing on a dock.

RI Veterans: Did you know? 8.6.23 (Vets Home cable, fishing, discounts, events) – John A. Cianci

by John A. Cianci, contributing writer on veterans issues

UPDATE Rhode Island Veterans Home – FREE Cable and Internet

RINEWSTODAY sources confirm a new deal has been agreed upon with a local cable/internet provider that will provide residents of the Rhode Island Veterans Home FREE basic cable service and internet access.  Next week a formal announcement is being coordinated to announce the new contract that the veterans residing at the home will benefit from. The individual cable and internet charges were highlighted on the WPRO’s Tara Granahan show by the Italian American War Veterans of Rhode Island Department Commander John A. Cianci late last year. 

“Key members of the VFW state leadership have been in the forefront to offer FREE cable and internet services to residents of the veterans home,” said Cianci. “Most of the private nursing homes offer free basic and internet, but since the opening of the Veterans home in 2017 our veterans were forced to pay. If not for our readers and the listeners of the Tara Granahan Show on WPRO, this issue would not have been in the spotlight to correct,” said Cianci. KUDOS to VFW leadership, ITAM, Tara Granahan, and WPRO’s listeners whose voices made this happen.

Here is the announcement that this is coming, from Director of Veterans Affairs for RI, Kasim Yarn, on January 12th, 2023:


Question from one of our readers:

Q: I am told because I’m a 100% disabled veteran and receiving 100% VA  service disability I can get a FREE fishing license. Is this true? Mike, North Smithfield

A: Free Rhode Island Hunting and Fishing Licenses for 100% Disabled Veterans: A Veteran who has a 100% disability rating from the VA is eligible for free Rhode Island hunting and fishing licenses.

No cost licenses are available if you are:

  • over 65 AND a Rhode Island resident
  • a veteran with 100% disability status from the Department of Veterans Affairs
  • a person with 100% total disability status from the Social Security Administration

If you qualify for a no-cost license, you may purchase your license in person at DEM, by mail or through the online system. In all cases, you must hold a current document from the federal agency that issued the disability decision. If you already hold a no-cost permanent hunting or fishing license and would like to buy additional permits or privileges or receive information about additional hunting or fishing opportunities, you must enter your information in the new system. The system will issue a new permanent license, and allow you access the online system to buy future permits or privileges.

If you hold a 100% disability status either from the Social Security Administration or Veteran’s Affairs, you must hold a current ORIGINAL DOCUMENT OF THE FINAL DECISION(S). This document MUST be on agency letterhead, from the appropriate federal agency(ies) that issued the required disability decision (i.e. the Social Security Administration or the Department of Veterans Affairs). If you are unsure of your disability status, it is best to call or visit DEM.

People who are over 65 or who are a veteran with 100% disability status will be issued a permanent license for freshwater fishing, hunting or freshwater fishing/hunting combo licenses. People with 100% total disability status will be issued a new license each year after confirmation that the status is still 100%.

Special conditions apply for no-cost saltwater licenses. Over 65 saltwater fishing licenses are free but need to be renewed each year. People with 100% disability status are exempt from needing a license for saltwater fishing but must have the original document of the final decision available while saltwater fishing in Rhode Island waters.

To apply in person at DEM, please bring a photo ID and an ORIGINAL DOCUMENT OF THE FINAL DECISION(S). Office hours are 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. (directions)

To apply by mail, complete an application and mail the application and a copy of your photo ID and the ORIGINAL DOCUMENT OF THE FINAL DECISION(S). Please allow two weeks for processing.

The address to obtain your license in person or by mail is:
DEM Licensing Office
235 Promenade Street, Room 360
Providence, RI 02908
(401) 222-3576

To purchase online, you will be required to certify that you have an ORIGINAL DOCUMENT OF THE FINAL DECISION(S). You will also be required to enter the date the decision expires. The Department will audit compliance with the certification and may, at any time, request a copy of the current DOCUMENT OF THE FINAL DECISION(S). Failure to submit the documentation by the date requested may result in the suspension of your fishing and hunting license. Also, Rhode Island General Law 11-18-1 prohibits giving false documents to an agent, employee, or public official. The penalty is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $1,000 or imprisonment up to one year.

Rhode Island Hunting and Fishing Benefits for Service Members and Veterans: Rhode Island offers several hunting and fishing benefits to Service members and Veterans. A short description of each is listed below. Applicants are required to show documentation proving eligibility when they apply:

  • Active Duty Service members – Military ID
  • Veterans – DD214
  • Disabled Veterans – VA Disability Certification Letter (Contact VA office)

Applicants can apply online at Rhode Island Outdoors, in person at the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management, Office of Boating Registration and Licenses in Providence (Monday through Friday 8:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.), at an Authorized In-Person Sales Agent, or they can mail applications to:

Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management
235 Promenade Street, Room 360
Providence, RI 02908
Phone: 401-222-3576

Learn more about FREE Rhode Island Hunting , Fishing, State Parks, and Golf  Benefits for Service Members and Veterans,that%20issued%20the%20disability%20decision.

Free Rhode Island Hunting and Fishing Licenses for 100% Disabled Veterans: A Veteran who has a 100% disability rating from the VA is eligible for free Rhode Island hunting and fishing licenses.
Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management, Application for 100% Permanent Disability Fishing/Combination License

Nonresident Service Members can Purchase Rhode Island Hunting and Fishing Licenses for Resident Prices: Nonresident Service members can purchase hunting and fishing licenses at resident prices.


 What are my Rhode Island Military and Veterans Parks and Recreation Benefits?

Free Rhode Island State Park Passes for 100% Disabled Veterans: Rhode Island offers the State Park Disability Pass for use at any state-owned recreational facility to disabled Veterans who have a 100% service-connected disability rating from the VA.

RI state parks logo

The State Park Disability Pass authorizes free admission and parking but does not exempt the following:

  • Licensing fees
  • Camping fees
  • Picnic table fees
  • Specialized facility use fees
  • Use of equestrian areas
  • Performing art centers
  • Game fields fees
  • Mule shed fees

If the disabled Veteran cannot drive, the vehicle transporting the Veteran will not be charged.

Veterans must apply in person at the Rhode Island State Parks and Recreation Headquarters and are required to show official documentation (dated within the past year) from the VA that states they have a 100% service-connected disability.

Rhode Island State Parks and Recreation Headquarters
1100 Tower Hill Road
North Kingstown, RI 02852
Phone: 401-667-6200
Email: [email protected]


Free Golf

Goddard Park Golf Course Fee Exemption for Totally Disabled Veterans: Rhode Island resident Veterans who have a 100% permanent and total, service-connected disability rating from the VA are exempt from paying any fees to play golf at the Goddard Park Golf Course. For more information call the Clubhouse at Goddard Memorial State Park from April 1st through the 3rd Saturday in November at 401-884-9834 or year-round at Division Headquarters at 401-667-6200.


Special Offer:

RINEWSTODAY salutes Phil’s Propane in Tiverton In Honor of The Brave program:


A special offer to all military personnel and veterans. In appreciation for all you have done keeping us safe, Phil’s Propane wishes to offer you a discount on 20lb. gas grill refills for only $10 (military ID required). We thank you once again for your service!

Special ends 7/3/23



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. Please see the attached flyer.

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. 

June 19, 2023, Monday, FREE Luncheon 11:30-1:00 for Veterans and one guest at Perella’s Ristorante. 330 Metacom Ave Warren, RI. This month’s meal will be chicken parmigiana, pasta, salad, and dessert. The event is a partnership of the Italian American War Veterans of US, inc. and the Building Bridges program. 

Last month over 60 veterans attended the luncheon. The Building Bridges program provides a free breakfast or lunch at 13 sites that include Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont. These sites are run by community volunteers at community sites, including halls run by fraternal organizations, veterans’ organizations, and local restaurants. A team of veterans and volunteers do all the cooking and serving.

Do you know a restaurant, post, lodge, hall, etc. willing to host a luncheon on one of the Mondays in November, December, and January ITAM organization has RI Licensed Food Service Manager and full insurance.

If you have a location where one of the luncheons can be held, contact ITAM program manager John, (401) 677-9838.June 26, 2023, Monday 1600-2030, Team New England Trip Announcement, FREE FISHING FOR VETERANS, Who: 35 veterans/active/guard/reserveChartered Fishing Trip, Niantic, CT , Team New England has been given the opportunity to get 35 members out fishing on the Black Hawk II- Party Boat Fishing at its Finest. Targeted species will be decided by the Capt. and may include bottom fish (porgies & black bass), stripers or blues… all depends on what the hot bite is. All bait and tackle will be provided by the boat, you can bring your own gear if you’d like.. No fishing license required as you’ll be covered under the charter. Snacks and non-alcoholic beverages can be purchased on the boat. You can bring beer if you’d like; but no glass bottles are permitted onboard. Fish cleaning can be provided by the boat at the costs of $1 per fish. Tips for the crew are appreciated but not mandatory.

July 3 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]


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.