A silhouette of a soldier saluting in front of an american flag.

RI Veterans: Did you know? Military Police Corps, resources, events, discounts… – John A. Cianci

by John A. Cianci, veterans writer

Did you know – the Military Police Corps has a monument at the Rhode Island Veterans Memorial cemetery?

2003 Fallen Members of 3 Rhode Island Army National Guard Soldiers Families to Receive The MPRA-RI Marechaussee Award

This year, on Friday, the Military Police Regiment Association of Rhode Island (MPRA-RI) – will be presenting the Marechaussee award to the families of those who gave the ultimate sacrifice over 20 years ago while serving in Operation Iraqi Freedom:

Staff Sergeant Joseph Camara, 115th Military Police Company

Sergeant Charles Todd Caldwell, 115th Military Police Company 

Specialist Michael Andrade, 115th Military Police Company 

In attendance will be family members of the fallen soldiers to accept the awards, estimated 100 soldiers who served with the fallen soldiers, and current and former members of the Rhode island National Guard. 

Personally serving with the group of Rhode Island Army National Guard activated in 2003,  I will never forget while in Iraq the feeling I had like my brothers and sisters were told our group had casualties on those dark days of September.

It seemed forever until we were told the names of those killed on those dark days in September 2003. Initially, the news brought some relief for a few seconds after hearing the names. Those killed in action were not some of my closest military friends I was serving with. However, reality hit hard, our group from Rhode Island had casualties. They were our brothers in arms who would not return home with us after the war.

ALL of us in the group would not be returning home. SPC Andrande was a member of my platoon before being attached to the 115th MP Co. 

The event will reunite many of the Rhode Island National Guard Military Police units deployed during Operation Iraqi Freedom for the first time since returning in 2004 from Iraq. Moreover, it’s a reminder of the cost of war; 3 Rhode Islanders killed while in combat. 

The MPRA-RI Marechaussee award was officially established in 2000 to recognize exceptional dedication, competence, and contribution to the Military Police Corps Regiment over an extended period of time. 

The Military Police Regimental Association’s mission is to promote the history and preserve the traditions of the Military Police Corps Regiment while supporting Military Police Leadership, Soldiers, and Families Army-wide.

In closing, rest in peace heroes. They sacrificed, NEVER TO BE FORGOTTENREST IN PEACE HEROES.

A short pray for our fallen brothers:


Update of Events

On Saturday, WARREN ASSOCIATION OF VIETNAM VETERANS CHICKEN BARBECUE 9-24-23. Held at St Thomas the Apostle Church. 270 people were in attendance. With corroboration with the Rhode Island Veterans Home, 21 veterans from the home were transported to and from the event. Kudos to all who made this happen.



October 2023

October 2, 2023 – Federal Hill Veteran Coffee House 9:00-11:00 a.m., Roma, Atwells Ave., Providence,  All veterans and their guest are invited. Sponsored by the Italian American War Veterans of the US, Refreshments are provided, to include brick oven Italian toast, pasties, calzones, and pizza.

October 16, 2023 – Monday, VFW Post, 134 Shove Street, Tiverton, FREE Italian luncheon with homemade meatballs for Veterans from 11:30 to 1:00 p.m. Celebrate Italian Heritage Month with lunch consisting of American Chop Suey, Sausage Sandwiches, Salad, and Italian dessert of cannoli and zeppole. Sponsored by the Italian American War veterans of the US and Building Bridges.

October 27, 2023, Friday – Dinner and Entrainment, Varum Memorial Armory Museum, 6 Main Street, East Greenwich RI , 80th Anniversary, Prime Rib or Fish dinner, tickets $60 per person.  WWII Combat Infantry Veterans are FREE.  Make checks payable to Combat Infantrymen Association, 42 Manning Street, North Providence RI 02911. All proceeds to benefit HONOR FLIGHTS OF RI, Inc.

November 2023

November 5, 2023; Veterans Inc 2023 Run4Heroes 5K Road Race, Registration begins at 8 a.m , race begins at 10:30 a.m at the start/finish line in front of Wormtown Brewery, on Shrewsbury St., Worcester. All participants can indulge in a post-race celebration featuring food, a complimentary beer from Wormtown Brewery, live music, exciting prizes, and more! If you can’t make it in person this year, we are offering a virtual sign-up option as well! Just run a 5k before the deadline, submit your times, and we will recognize your participation and honor the virtual winner alongside the in-person honorees.


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: 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.