'Advance directive' lets veterans create a living will
Does the Department of Veterans Affairs recognize a veteran's desire to have a living will or other documents that summarize wishes for health care?
Answer: Each patient has a right to complete a form known as an "advance directive," a written statement that the patient completes in advance of serious illness about which medical decisions he/she wants made in the event the veteran can no long make his or her wishes known. The two most common forms of advance directives are a living will and a durable power of attorney for health care. The document, if the veteran chooses to create one, will be maintained as part of his medical record and will be reviewed periodically with the veteran or surrogate decision maker. For more information on advance directives, call the VA Medical Center at 433-0600.
Q: I do volunteer work with children. What can I do to help youngsters understand what it means to be a veteran?
A: Sharing your personal experience of military service can influence young people who don't have family members who are veterans. You don't have to be a combat veteran with hair-raising yarns to tell. The VA has an Internet site that will help young people understand what it means to be a veteran. It's called VA Kids and is at www.va.gov/kids. The Web page has three major areas - one for students in kindergarten through grade 5, a second section for grades 6 through 12 and a final section for teachers. The teachers' section contains additional information, links and suggested classroom activities.
If you have questions about your benefits as a veteran, call Fred Ballard at the Veterans Affairs at 433-0049 or visit the VA Web site at www.va.gov/hawaii
or the Star-Bulletin at 529-4747.