Express News Staff
LAKE PLEASANT - Hamilton County Director of Veterans' Services Frank Ruggiero has some interesting statistics concerning veterans who lived in the county in 2012.
The county's 613 veterans received a total of $606,000 in VA medical care expenditures and $616,000 in VA pension compensation, education and insurance expenditures in 2012.
Over the year, Ruggiero said he had 140 contacts with veterans, either by phone or in person. A majority of the services rendered involved helping with pensions, medical and tax issues, he said.
Of note to veterans who might be unaware, Ruggiero said burial benefits are available to veterans at Gerald B.H. Solomon Saratoga National Cemetery. Those free benefits include a gravesite, opening and closing of the grave, perpetual care, a government headstone or marker, a burial flag and a Presidential Memorial Certificate, all at no cost to the family.
Cremated remains are buried or inurned in national cemeteries in the same manner and with the same honors as casketed remains.
Ruggiero can register veterans to use the Veterans Administration Health Care Network. He has the forms that need to be completed in order to use these facilities. He can also assist in providing transportation to the VA hospital in Albany.
He also assists veterans or their dependents with claims for compensation, pensions, burial benefits, tax exemptions, VA guaranteed loans and any other VA benefits.
For more information on VA services call Ruggiero at (518) 736-5650 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org