Governor Lincoln D. Chafee today announced the launch of Rhode Island government's first comprehensive Veterans Affairs website: www.vets.ri.gov.
"Rhode Island has had one of the highest deployment rates in the nation, and with so many veterans returning home from foreign deployments, we must do all we can to support military service members and their families -- both during and after their service," Governor Chafee said. "It is my hope that this new website will help veterans and their families connect more conveniently with a range of services and will be a useful source for important information."
Among the features of the new site are:
Information on veterans programs for higher learning at Rhode Island colleges and universities and links to federal education benefit programs. Gallery and interactive map of the Rhode Island Veterans Memorial Cemetery with a link to the federal gravesite locator database Streamlined application to determine qualification for burial at the Rhode Island Veterans Memorial Cemetery Overview of the Rhode Island Veterans Home on Mt. Hope Bay in Bristol, including eligibility details and applications for care, and information on transitional services. Rhode Island veterans events calendar and photo gallery Links to state and federal benefits programs, online application processes, and contact information Details on pension benefits and employment and training opportunities Integration with NRD.gov for news and updates pertinent to Wounded Warriors, veterans, caregivers, and veteran families Access to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Online Benefits Book Link to the national Veterans CrisisLine to receive counseling advice online via chat or by phone Link for more information on the Providence VA Medical Center
"This new web site developed by our Division of Veterans Affairs strengthens our department's ability to deliver comprehensive and effective services to Rhode Islanders," said Sandra M. Powell, Director of the Department of Human Services. "The Division of Veterans Affairs puts into action the commitment all Rhode Islanders have to our veterans and this web site will serve veterans well in connecting them not only to programs in our department but to agencies public and private throughout the state and nation."
Kim Ripoli, Associate Director of the Division of Veterans Affairs, noted that, "A core belief in the military is that no one is ever left behind. Having a web site that serves as a 'Rhode MAP' (Military Assistance Program) for veterans enables them to have ready access to vital information with regard to a broad range of benefits and programs and ensures that no Rhode Island veteran is left behind in accessing services and programs to which they are entitled."
Today's announcement follows the recent launch of a new Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) website and the creation of the Governor's online Transparency Portal. These steps forward are part of an ongoing push by the Chafee Administration to put more government information and services online to benefit the people of Rhode Island.