Get Enrolled for VA Health Care

A refuge for veterans
Veteran gets his photo taken for an enrollment card.
After enrollment, Veterans are issued a Veterans ID card.

By Charles Tubbs, Public Affairs


One of the first steps Veterans should take following retirement or separation from the military is to enroll in the VA for health care. The Orlando VA Medical Center currently serves more than 90,000 Veterans in East Central Florida and wants to ensure all Veterans have access to care.

“The mission of our medical center,” said Tim Liezert, Orlando VA Medical Center director, “is to honor America’s Veterans by providing exceptional health care that improves their health and well-being. We want to be the place Veterans choose to get health care.”

The start the journey of receiving health benefits, a Veteran need only to apply by completing VA Form 1010EZ, Application for Healthcare Benefits,  in person at any VA Healthcare Facility, Veteran Service Center, Veteran Regional Office, or any other County or State office that offers services to veterans. Veterans can apply on line at and can mail the application to the local VA Healthcare Facility.

Veterans who served in a theater of combat operations after November 11, 1998 are eligible for an extended period of eligibility for health care for 5 years after discharge.

“Veterans should apply as soon as they are able after discharge because the Five Year Eligibility is based on the date they were discharge, not the date they are registered,” said Hector Berrios, the Orlando VA Enrollment and Eligibility Supervisor. “If Veterans wait until the five years expire then regular eligibility requirements apply and they will be qualified based on income, service connection category, special eligibility (Purple Heart, Persian Gulf War Environmental Factors, POW, VA Pension)”

Berrios says early registering immediately following discharge gives Veterans an head start to offset any mental or physical challenges as a result of military service. “The sooner they register the sooner we can start taking care of them.”
Once an application for enrollment is submitted, based specific eligibility status, the Veteran is assigned one of the following Category groups:

Click Here to View the Priority Groups

Veterans may contact the Orlando VA Medical Center Enrollment Office at 407-629-1599, press 2 at the first recording and 3 at the next.  Additional health care information can be found on VHA’s Health Benefits web site at


Machinery manuals: I never pay attention to instruction manuals and it drives my wife nuts. Using a manual to dope out how to install a dishwasher or set up a DVD player just feels like cheating to me.(I’m also not good at asking directions when lost. It’s probably a guy thing.)

Food & Beverage Packaging April 1, 2008 | Henry, John This may be OK for household appliances but not for packaging machinery. Unfortunately, too many equipment manufacturers build great machines and then fail to provide equally great operating, maintenance and set-up manuals.

There are several reasons for this:

* Many packaging machines are customized for each application. Sometimes this means modification of a standard machine. Other times it means a customized machine from the ground up. Customized machines require customized manuals which are time consuming to write.

* Some machine builders use engineers to write the manual. Engineers are great at many things; technical writing is not always one of them. Other builders will use in-house or outside technical writers who may not completely understand the machine. here how to install a dishwasher

* It’s hard to write a manual before a machine is completed and tested. Once it is completed and tested, the customer usually wants it shipped immediately.

* Then there’s money. Customers often buy machines on the basis of initial price rather than overall cost. When they don’t, builders think they do. Good manuals cost and builders are reluctant to charge for them.

Bad manuals cost even more. These costs accrue over the life of the machine in poor set-ups, improper operation and inadequate maintenance. Unfortunately, the machine cost is visible, the lifetime costs are hidden.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] All of these problems are compounded in imported machinery by translations.

It’s easy, but wrong, to blame machine builders for these problems. Customers share a lot of the blame by not insisting on good manuals (and being willing to pay for them!). Builders must also do their part by showing the customer the value of a good manual.

A thought on graphics: Machine manuals need to be profusely illustrated with pictures, diagrams, drawings and charts. One picture is worth a thousand words.

ACCESSIBILITY IS KEY A good manual, by itself, is not enough. People need to use it. So make machinery manuals easily accessible.

Electronic manuals are one solution. Most machine builders will provide these on new machines. Older manuals can be scanned and saved as PDFs or JPEGS. If on a central server, electronic manuals can be accessed from any computer. Some newer machines allow the manuals to be displayed right on the machine.

Electronic manuals must be protected from uncontrolled editing but the key word is uncontrolled. At some point in their lives, most machines will be modified. Manuals, whether paper or electronic, must be updated to reflect these modifications. Updating controls should include passwords, as well as audit trails of who made the modifications and why. go to web site how to install a dishwasher

Finally, there needs to be a mindset of “use the book.” The more we know, the more we recognize what we still don’t know, so training will help some. It is mostly just a question of instilling the right attitude.

There really is a right way to do things. Manuals need to capture this and make sure the knowledge is shared.

John Henry, Certified Packaging Professional (CPP), is renowned as the Changeover Wizard. His company,, specializes in improving line efficiencies for packagers by reducing downtime. Contact John at [email protected] or 787-550-9650.

Henry, John


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