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This an open invitation to all veterans of Napa County, and especially Vietnam veterans. There are approximately 11,000 veterans in Napa County. There are about 900 located in Yountville at the Veterans Home.

You Vietnam vets have been hiding in the tall grass for about 50 years. We didn’t get the welcome home that we thought we deserved. That’s what they call life, not fair, so get over it and try to move on. Don’t you think it is time to knock that chip off your shoulder that you have against the government and take advantage of the benefits that you earned?

The benefits are not handouts or welfare; you earned them for your service commitment. There are organizations trying to help you through a monthly event called Vet Connect, including: Napa County Veterans Services, VA HUD-VASH health care and housing, County Social Services, North Bay Veterans Resource Center, Employment Development Department, Napa Valley College, Veterans Home of California.

They are trying to connect veterans to local resources and services all in one location.

The next Vet Connect is Thursday, Feb. 8 at 650 Imperial Way in Napa. The hours are 9 a.m. till noon. These organizations are available to help you at no cost and no appointment is necessary. Bring your DD 214 if available.

The Vet Connect is always on the second Thursday of every month, so come on down and check out what is offered besides coffee and doughnuts, provided by Chapter 702 of the Vietnam Veterans of America.

On Tuesday, Jan. 30 the Board of Supervisors gave their approval to establish a County Veterans Commission. “The times they are a-changin’” to quote Dylan. I am looking forward to seeing how the commission will further the veterans' interests.

Hope to see you on the 8th.

Take care, and be good to yourself.

Barry Shaw