A close up of a knot on a green canvas bag.

RI Veterans: Did you know? (Urgent Care, events, resources, discounts ) 23-MAR-23, John A. Cianci

by John A. Cianci, contributing writer on veterans issues

Did you know the Providence VA Medical, Chalkstone Ave., Providence facility has an Urgent Care unit for veterans open Monday thru Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.? 

VETTIP: No appointment required; walk-in. The unit is located across from the Emergency Room.



Whether you’re a seasoned photographer or a budding painter, here’s your opportunity to show off your talent and use your artwork to honor Veterans. The VA and the Veterans Day National Committee are now accepting submissions for the 2023 Veterans Day Poster Contest

Submissions are due by 11:59 p.m. (EDT) on April 1, 2023.

This contest is open to all. Your art should reflect this year’s theme of “Service.” Veterans have shaped the American character, giving us an extraordinary legacy of patriotism and honor. Their service represents the highest form of citizenship.

The winning poster will be distributed to VA facilities, military installations worldwide and across cities and towns in our nation. It will also serve as the cover of the official program for the Veterans Day observance at Arlington National Cemetery, scheduled for Nov. 11, 2023.

Although creativity has no rules, there are a few submission guidelines:

·      Artwork must be 18” x 24” at 300 dots per inch, with scaled down submissions to 9”x12.”

·      The design will be used for a 1” x 1.5” lapel pin. Simple designs look best scaled down to lapel pins. If you’d like to submit a modified design for the lapel pin based on the original poster design, you may do so.

·      Submissions are not restricted to “human-centric” images, such as a joint color guard. Images of American icons, monuments or scenery can qualify.

·      Submissions must be representative of all Veterans who served. The Committee may select a particular submission but ask the artist to modify the original design. Additional changes may be required prior to printing.

·      Each design must include the words “Veterans Day,” “November 11, 2023,” and “Honoring all who served.”

·      All submissions must include sufficient information to demonstrate that the image is the artist’s work and is not copyrighted material (i.e., photos and concepts).

Successful designs are very simple, with minimal imagery and verbiage. To view examples of past winning submissions, visit The Veterans Day Poster Gallery.

Submit electronic versions as jpg images or PDF files by email to [email protected].



March 25, 2023, Saturday, National Medal of Honor Day – dedication and remembrance ceremony , 9:30 a.m. to noon, at the outdoor theater at the Contemporary Theater, 327 Main Street, South Kingstown, RI. This military recognition event is part of South Kingstown’s 300th Anniversary program. The event is free and open to the public.

March 29, 2023 , 11:30 National Vietnam Veteran Day Welcome Home Luncheon, Rhode Island Veterans Home, 400 Metacom Ave, Bristol RI sponsored by the Italian American War Veterans of US. Italian luncheon and dessert FREE to all RI Veterans Home Vietnam Veteran and their guest. Families and veterans can sign up at the veteran’s home activity department. Vietnam veterans residing at the home can REQUEST A WISH MEAL they would like to have. Example, the veteran wants a stuffed lobster, stuffed shrimp, steak, etc. The Italian American War Veterans of US will coordinate with Perella’s Ristorante to accommodate the Vietnam Veteran’s request. Special request please contact ITAM’s office (401) 677-9838 or via email [email protected]  

March 29, 2023, Wednesday, 1pm-4pm, “Welcome Home” free lunch for Vietnam Veterans Texas Roadhouse, 1200 Quaker Lane, East Greenwich. RSVP to Missy at [email protected]

March 31, 2023 – On Friday, March 31st, at 1830, the Rhode Island National Guard will be hosting the Adjutant General’s Cup. This event will be taking place at the Boss Ice Arena (1 Keaney Rd, Kingstown, RI). The Rhode Island Air National Guard will be competing against the Rhode Island Army National Guard to take home the cup! Admission is FREE as are the T-shirts they will be giving away!

April 8, 2023, Women’s Veterans Luncheon 12:00 p.m. at Rhode Island Veterans Home, 400 Metacom Ave., Bristol. Women veteran with veteran ID meal is FREE. All other $15. Reservations are a must, contact Ginny Hanson, (401) 294-2434, email [email protected] or Gretchen at (401) 862-9639, email [email protected]. Deadline for reservations is Wednesday March 22, 2023. 

April 23, 2023 – Chopstick Auction for Department VFW Auxillary Ways and Means Committee, Kelley Grazzero  Post #2812, 1418 Plainfield Street, Cranston. Auction starts 1:00 p.m., more information call Stephen Doherty, (401) 500-1255 

May 6, 2023 – 4-7pm, Memorial Day Parade Pasta at Lincoln Senior Center- 150 Jenckes Hill Rd. Adults-$15, Children $10, Ages 5 and under free. In addition to entry to the pasta dinner, purchase of one of these tickets will enter you in our raffle, to be eligible to win an awesome prize from local Lincoln businesses! Come enjoy great food, music, and lots of raffle prizes! Tickets are available for purchase at Town Hall – 100 Old River Rd., We Roast Coffee- 276 Front St., Ted’s Paint- 194 Front St. and Lincoln Senior Center- 150 Jenckes Hill Rd. Any questions please email [email protected] or call 401-333-8416 / 401-333-8417. All proceeds go towards the Lincoln Memorial Day Parade Celebration!


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 – Bald Hill Road, Warwick – Park Ave, Cranston.

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. 


Send us your info – or questions!

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, 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.