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Yet another mid Chapter Post

Thursday, December 01, 2016 11:58 | Jeffrey Backus

Just a note.  Time goes by much faster as one ages. 

Colorado has been good for us, so far.  We did not freeze to death the first winter and have hope to survive our second winter here.

I have become a full time student at a local community college (Front Range Community College).  They have close ties with Colorado State University and a couple of other smaller State Colleges in the area.

I'm using the Post 911 GI Bill (Ch 33?), which so far has been pretty responsive, other than spotty Housing Allowances.  Apparently, the VA does not pay the Housing Allowances for Winter Break and Spring Break since the students are not in the classroom for a week.  This is one thing that the VA should change since the students housing situation remains the same during the week long breaks.  Hopefully, the week breaks are not included in the number of months of paid tuition as that would "extend" this fine benefit for an additional 6 weeks or so.

I was able to transfer in with 45 Credits (the max that they would accept).  Those included 12 College credits from 1979 and 1992!  The rest were from my Military Schools and Marine Corps Institute Courses.  So that people don't naysay MCI's, one of the courses I took transferred to FRCC as "College Trig".  (I think it was "Fundamentals of Digital Logic", but I'm not sure as they didn't specify where the credits came from).  Since I detest math, this was certainly a nice surprise for me.

I will "graduate" at the end of my third semester with an AA in General Studies.  I'm also about half way through an AAS in Horticulture.  The HLT AAS comes with at least one job certificate, that I have not decided on yet.

I have also become a member of the Marine Corps League, Loveland, Colorado detachment number 1250.  This is a worthy organization to participate in since one of the purposes is to support the local veteran community.  I'm still getting snapped in, but have been able to participate in several events to include a parade where I nearly burned the engine up in my 37 International Pickup.  We were also able to attend the 2016 USMC Birthday Ball that Det 1250 sponsors each year.  I was humbled to be in attendance with several true hero's.  There are quite a few Viet Nam Vets, a couple DS/DS Vets, a few Korea Vets and one WWII Vet that are regulars at the monthly "meetings", oh, and there are also several Cold War Vets.  I plan on "shipping over" as a Lifetime Member after my first year of probation is completed.

There is a pretty good VA Medical presence in the area.  The region is covered by the Cheyenne, Wy Veterans Hospital (about 70 miles up I-25 from Loveland).  The closest VA Clinic is about 20 minute away in Fort Collins and another in Greeley, which is about 30 minutes away. My few medications all come in the mail is a very timely manner, which is appreciated.

My only complaint about the VA Medical is that they are usually overbooked and it takes a month or six weeks to get an appointment. This makes it pretty annoying when the Medical Staff calls in sick or has some sort of priority other than their job, since it usually takes another month to get in to see them.  I still have the Retired Tri-Care option if I need faster service though.

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