August 7, 1998
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
WASHINGTON, D.C. ---- FALEOMAVAEGA AGAIN URGES VETERANS TO
REGISTER; LOCAL TELEPHONE CALL NOW
CONNECTS YOU TO VA COUNSELORS IN
Congressman Faleomavaega is again asking all veterans residing in American Samoa to register with Mr. Pagofie Fiaigoa, ASG's liaison for veterans affairs.
"Under current law, within the total national funding for veterans medical care, the amount allocated to each region varies with the size of the veteran population in that region. I have been advised by the VA that if we can document an increase in the size of our veteran population, the VA regional office which has jurisdiction over American Samoa will receive increased funding, and that the regional office will devote the increased funding to additional resources for American Samoa's veterans," said Faleomavaega.
"Simply put," continued the Congressman, "if we can prove to the VA that there are twice as many veterans in American Samoa as were recorded in the 1990 census, we get considerably more resources. For this reason, it is in every veteran's interest to register. The more veterans we have, the more resources the VA will devote to us."
"It is my understanding that approximately 1,600 veterans have registered so far. The official count the VA is operating on is 830 veterans, so this new list shows a doubling in the size of the veteran population in our territory. An increase of this size could have a substantial effect on the resources the VA can devote to American Samoa," noted Faleomavaega.
"I am also pleased to inform our veterans that there is now a local telephone number in American Samoa which connects directly to the VA benefits counselors in Honolulu. The number is 633-7928. Counselors are available 7:30 am to 3:00 pm (Samoa time), Monday through Friday. An answering machine is available after hours to take messages. The counselors can answer many questions over the telephone, but some claims still need to be filed in writing," concluded Faleomavaega.