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RI Veterans: Did you know? (nursing homes, care services, discounts, vet groups…) 7 July 22 – John A. Cianci

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

Photo: Volunteers and donors at FREE gas event on Friday

Did you know if a veteran is receiving 70% or more Veterans Administration disability compensation, he or she is eligible for FREE nursing home care at the Rhode Island Veterans Home (RIVH) and/or private nursing homes contracted by the VA?

Did you know if you have a service connected disability needing nursing home care the veteran is also eligible for FREE nursing home care at the RIVH or contracted VA nursing home?

Do you know the VA contracts with these nursing homes that provide FREE long-term care for eligible veterans?

RI Nursing Homes


Orchard View Manor
135 Tripps Ln
Riverside, RI

Silver Creek Manor
7 Creek Lane

Respiratory and Rehabilitation Center of RI
10 Woodland Drive

Scandinavian Rehab and Skilled Nursing
1811 Broad St
Cranston, RI 02905
(401) 461-1433

Greenville Center
735 Putnam Pike
Greenville RI 02828

Morgan Health Center
80 Morgan Ave.

Crystal Lake Rehabilitation and Care Center
999 S. Main St.

Summit Commons
99 Hillside Avenue
Providence, RI 02906

Hebert Health and Rehabilitation
180 Log Rd.

Understanding VA Long-Term Care Options for Veterans 

Sadly, not many veterans know that the VA provides some of the best options for seniors for long-term care. These options are available to all veterans who are enrolled and using the VA healthcare system.

According to the VA website, the VA programs focus on:

·       facilitating Veteran independence

·       enhancing quality of life

·       supporting family members and caregivers of our Veterans

The VA has four categories of Long-Term Services and Supports:

·       Home and Community-Based Care

·       Residential Settings

·       Nursing Homes

·       Geriatric Services

Home and Community-Based Care

Home and Community-Based Care supports your independence so you can remain in your own home as long as possible. You can receive more than one service at the same time. These programs may include:

·       Adult Day Health Care (!)

·       Home Based Primary Care (!)

·       Homemaker and Home Health Aide (!)

·       Palliative and Hospice Care (!)

·       Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE)

·       Respite Care (!)

·       Skilled Home Health Care (!)

·       Telehealth

·       Veteran Directed Care

Those with an (!) after them are part of your Standard Medical Benefits if you have clinical needs and are enrolled in VHA.

Residential Settings

Residential Settings are supervised living situations that provide meals and assistance with activities of daily living. These settings include: Adult Family Homes (not VA), Assisted Living Facilities (not VA), Medical Foster Homes, and Community Residential Care. You pay the rent for living in these settings, but if you have certified needs and are enrolled in VHA, home and community-based services can be provided to you in these settings.

Nursing Homes

Nursing Homes are settings in which skilled nursing care, along with other supportive and medical care services, is available 24 hours a day. Nursing Homes include: Community Living Centers (VA Nursing Homes), Community Nursing Homes, and State Veterans Homes.

Geriatric Services

Additional Geriatric Services provided by GEC include: Geriatric Patient-Aligned Care Teams (GeriPACT), Geriatric Evaluation and Management (GEM), and a variety of dementia and delirium programs.

The starting point for any veteran or family seeking long-term care services from the VA is to register for VA healthcare.

VETTIP – Many veterans have private insurers and providers and believe they have to use VA healthcare exclusive, which is NOT true. To be considered using the VA healthcare, the veteran at a minimum must attend a FREE annual physical with an assigned VA provider.

In conclusion, if you are a veteran and not registered and using the VA healthcare system, take the time and register.

Below is from the VA website on information on how to register:

Step 1 – prepare before I start my application

Find out if you’re eligible for VA health care benefits

Gather the information listed below that you’ll need to fill out an Application for Health Benefits (VA Form 10-10EZ)

You’ll need this information:

·       Social Security numbers for you, your spouse, and your qualified dependents

·       Your military discharge papers (DD214 or other separation documents)

·       Insurance card information for all insurance companies that cover you, including any coverage provided through a spouse or significant other. This includes Medicare, private insurance, or insurance from your employer. 

·       Gross household income from the previous calendar year for you, your spouse, and your dependents. This includes income from a job and any other sources. Gross household income is your income before taxes and any other deductions.

·       Your deductible expenses for the past year. These include certain health care and education costs.

Note: You don’t have to tell us about your income and expenses when you apply. But if you’re not eligible based on other factors, we’ll need this information to decide on your application.

How do I apply?

You can apply online right now:

Apply for health care benefits

Obtenga instrucciones para esta solicitud en Español. 

You can also apply in any of these 4 ways:

Option 1: Apply by phone

Call our toll-free hotline at 877-222-8387, Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. ET to get help with your application.

Option 2: Apply by mail

Fill out an Application for Health Benefits (VA Form 10-10EZ).
Get VA Form 10-10EZ to download

You or someone acting as your power of attorney must sign and date the form. And: If you’re using a power of attorney, you’ll need to submit a copy of the Power of Attorney form along with your application.

If you sign with an “X,” 2 people you know must witness your signature. They’ll also need to sign and print their names on the form.

Send your completed application here:

Health Eligibility Center
2957 Clairmont Rd., Suite 200
Atlanta, GA 30329

Option 3: Apply in person

Fill out an Application for Health Benefits (VA Form 10-10EZ).
Get VA Form 10-10EZ to download

You or someone acting as your power of attorney must sign and date the form. And: If you’re using a power of attorney, you’ll need to submit a copy of the Power of Attorney form along with your application.

If you sign with an “X,” 2 people you know must witness your signature. They’ll also need to sign and print their names on the form.

Go to your nearest VA medical center or clinic. Bring a signed Application for Health Benefits (VA Form 10-10EZ) with you.
Find a VA medical center or clinic near you

Or get help through your state’s Department of Veterans Affairs.
Find your state’s Department of Veterans Affairs

Option 4: Apply with the help of a trained professional

You can work with a trained professional called an accredited representative to get help applying for health care benefits. The Italian American War Veterans of US provide FREE assistance. Contact information to request assistance is or (401) 677-9838. 

UPDATE on Free Gas for Eligible Veterans last Friday

Over 260 veterans and active-duty soldiers turned out for up to $50 dollars of free gas at Village Gas Station, 101 Pleasant View Ave., Smithfield, Rhode Island on last Friday.

Although the event was to start at 10am, veterans arrived and lined up as early as 600am. 

“I anticipated early arrivers, so I showed up with my husband at 730am,” said Wendy Cianci. Wendy was one of the volunteers from the Italian American War Veterans of the US who were verifying veteran and or active-duty status for patrons who showed up for the vouchers.

By 8 am, the parking lot across from Village Gas was filled with estimated 50 cars, verified and eligible for the free gas.

“I arrived at 7:30 am and over a dozen cars were already here,” said Suzette, a U.S Air Force veteran from Smithfield RI. “I called my Dad, a marine veteran, to come out.”

By 9:30 am, the overflow parking lot next to the high school was also filled with eligible veterans.

“We decided to start the event thirty minutes before since the owner of the gas station and event sponsors were ready,” said the Smithfield Police Department. Smithfield Police provided traffic control to ensure ongoing traffic continue to travel on Pleasant View Drive despite as many of 100 vehicles lined up and awaiting gas.

“I waited about 45 minutes,” said Sergio, U.S. Army Operation Desert Storm and Operation Iraqi Freedom combat veteran.

Three college friends Rich Santelli, Robert Skeffington, and Bill Hogan donated $10,000 to support the event called Independence Day in the flyer announcing the event. 

The owner of the gas station, Shan Abid, also donated $1,000 and labor to provide full service to the eligible veterans who had been issued a voucher for up to $50 in gas at the event.

Abid provided cold water and other drinks throughout the event for the volunteers from the Italian American War Veterans of US, American Legion Berard Desjarlais Post #88, Harrisville RI, and friends of the sponsors. 

“So satisfying to be able to give back to our veterans,” said Danielle Noury of Scituate RI. 

Noury and another gas attendant, Alessandra Gaido, provided full-service to the veterans and members of the armed forces who were verified and had a voucher for up to $50 of free gas. Neither one of them took a break until the last veteran received the free gas.

“I’m a regular at Village Gas, “ said John, 22 retired U.S. Army veteran. “Not many gas stations you get full-service at self-service price.”

Many of the veterans who received the free gas showed their gratitude and detailed the impact to their quality of life receiving the free gas.  For example, Barbara from North Providence, a Marine veteran, told RINEWSTODAY that having a tank full of gas for free would allow her to visit family in Connecticut. Talking to RINEWSTODAY Barbara fought off her watering eyes to talk about her financial struggles as a single parent of two children and being a full-time student at RIC using her GI bill she earned while serving her country.

“The Italian American War Veterans of US salutes the sponsors, Rich Santelli, Robert Skeffington, Bill Hogan, and Shan Abid,” said State of Rhode Island Department Commander John Cianci.” A gesture of kindness making a difference to hundredths of veterans and active-duty soldiers.”

By noon, the last veteran’s car left with a full-tank of gas. Over 260 vouchers issued and used at Village Gas, Smithfield, Rhode Island.

KUDOS to all who made this happen.


RI Veterans: Did you know?” Sponsor – Precision Home Lending



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, a link to access what a good resume looks like, and other tips for veterans seeking employment. 

Providence Vet Center 

Below are all of 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 ***

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.



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 07/31/2021

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 07/31/2028 (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 –  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.


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 – 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  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.

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