- The Washington Times - Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Dear Sgt. Shaft:

I was in the Marine Corps from November of 2002 until December of 2005. I signed up for the savings bond program in boot camp. Now that I am out, I would like to track down my bonds and have them mailed to me. Do you know where I would have to start my inquiry? Semper Fidelis Michael J., USMC retired, Florida

Dear Mike,

I forwarded your request to the powers that be, and you should have been contacted by now. However, for your information, written requests to take bonds out of safekeeping must contain the service member’s name, Social Security number, current mailing address, dated signature, and indicate that you would like to have your bonds released from safekeeping. The member’s signed request may be submitted in writing or by fax.

Navy and Marine Corps members may submit their signed request in writing or by fax to: DFAS-Cleveland, Att’n.: Bond Safekeeping, 1240 East Ninth Street Cleveland, OH 44199-2055. Fax: 216/522-6358; DSN Fax: 216/580-6358; Phone: 216/522-5880; DSN voice: 216/580-5880.

Shaft notes

The Sarge is looking forward to attending a stand down for homeless veterans being sponsored by the Washington, D.C., VA Medical Center on Jan. 23, 2010, when they will unite community agencies from around the metro area to provide a full day of services to approximately 300 homeless veterans.

The Winterhaven Homeless Veterans Stand Down, an annual event hosted by DCVAMC, will be held at the medical center, 50 Irving St. NW, Washington, D.C., from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

“We owe so much to our veterans, and were here to see that they receive the care and attention they need and have earned. Events like Winterhaven allow us bring a host of medical and community services to the areas homeless veterans in a welcoming and safe environment.” said Fernando O. Rivera, medical center director.

Veterans attending the Stand Down will receive medical screenings and mental health consultations. Employment support and housing services will also be offered. The event is sponsored by the VA Medical Center with the support of many veterans service and community organizations such as Pentagon Federal Credit Union, Disabled American Veterans Charitable Trusts, American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Vietnam Veterans of America and All Faith Consortium, as well as local businesses and organizations, such as ZIPS and AmeriCorps.

Participating state and federal agencies include the IRS and the Department of Labor, along with the D.C. Department of Human Services.

Medical screenings will include for cholesterol, Hepatitis C and HIV. General physical exams will be available, as will flu shots. Consultative services offered will include ophthalmology, podiatry, infectious diseases, oral health and womens health. Psychosocial referrals for veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder and substance abuse will be provided.

Employment support will be available through the District, Maryland and Virginia employment offices, VA Vocational Rehabilitation Services, and the D.C. Coalition for the Homeless. Staff from the Veterans Benefits Administration and Veterans Service Organizations will assist with VA benefits claims.

Chaplain service will be present for pastoral care and counseling. Veterans attending will receive hot meals, warm clothing, comfort kits, haircuts and tokens for goods at local thrift stores.

The medical center will provide transportation to and from local shelters and shuttle buses from both Union Station and Brookland/CUA Metro station. For further information, contact the Office of Public Affairs at 202/745-4037 or visit the Web site www.washingtondc.va.gov/.

Send letters to Sgt. Shaft, c/o John Fales, P.O. Box 65900, Washington, DC 20035-5900; fax: 301/622-3330; call: 202/257-5446; or e-mail sgtshaft@bavf.org.