Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

VA calendar lists wrong date for Independence Day

Attention, veterans: Ignore your 2014 Department of Veterans Affairs calendar.

Independence Day does not fall on July 3 this year.

About 357,000 VA calendars given to veterans across most of Florida, southern Georgia and Puerto Rico mistakenly label Thursday, July 3, as Independence Day and remind veterans that VA outpatient clinics are closed today for the holiday.

Apologies to the Founding Fathers. The Fourth of July still falls on July 4. So VA clinics actually will be closed Friday, not today.

A VA spokeswoman said the error was not noticed by agency proofreaders before the calendar went to the printer in late 2013, and regional VA officials decided to distribute the calendars rather than reprint them at great cost.

The calendar contains monthly "wellness messages" for veterans on maintaining good health.

"I don't know who made the mistake," Mary Kay Hollings­worth, a VA regional spokeswoman in Florida, said Wednesday. "We had a number of different people look at it. But we were focused on the wellness messages. It was an honest mistake."

The president of the American Institute for Preventive Medicine in Farmington Hills, Mich., which produced the calendar under a $210,000 contract for the VA, said he was unaware of the error until the Tampa Bay Times told him about it.

The president, Don Powell, said any printing error was ultimately his responsibility, even if VA proofreaders missed it.

"I am the president of the company, and I obviously take responsibility for everything we do," Powell said. "I feel somewhat red-faced about it."

Powell later called back the Times and said the institute had spotted the mistake before the calendar was printed. But he said the company that was hired by the institute to print the calendar failed to fix the error.

Powell said he did not know the name of the printer.

The institute's contract with the VA includes the printing of an annual report for regional VA leaders and a quarterly wellness magazine for veterans. The cost of just the calendar, which contains monthly tips for veterans on maintaining good health, was not immediately available.

Powell said he would have ordered a reprint of the calendar at no extra cost to the VA had the agency asked, but it didn't.

Of all the federal holidays to get wrong in a calendar for veterans, a patriotic holiday is one to avoid, said Dan Cruser, 66, of New Port Richey.

Cruser said he picked up a copy of the calendar at the VA's New Port Richey clinic and quickly noticed the error while waiting for an appointment.

"That's kind of an embarrassment," he said. "When I saw it, I thought, 'Who's the … idiot who did this?' "

The calendar has all of the other holidays correct. Christmas still falls on Dec. 25.

Contact William R. Levesque at or (813) 226-3432. Follow @WilliamRLevesqu.

VA calendar lists wrong date for Independence Day 07/02/14 [Last modified: Wednesday, July 2, 2014 11:26pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Search for missing Army helicopter crew suspended in Hawaii


    HONOLULU — Officials have suspended the search for five Army soldiers who were aboard a helicopter that crashed during offshore training in Hawaii last week.

    Water safety officials hand over possible debris from an Army UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter crash to military personnel stationed at a command center in a harbor, Wednesday in Haleiwa, Hawaii, a day after. an Army helicopter with five on board crashed several miles off Oahu's North Shore. Officials  suspended the search for five Army soldiers in a helicopter crash during offshore training in Hawaii on Monday. [Associated Press]
  2. Rubio praises Trump for 'excellent' speech on Afghanistan


    Sen. Marco Rubio praised President Donald Trump's "excellent" speech on Afghanistan. Sen. Bill Nelson was less effusive but agreed with the goal.

  3. Gov. Rick Scott blasts report of shifting words on Charlottesville


    Gov. Rick Scott, one of the most scripted politicians in modern Florida history, said Monday that "both sides” bear blame for Charlottesville.

  4. Record $417 million awarded in lawsuit linking baby powder to cancer


    LOS ANGELES — A Los Angeles jury on Monday ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay a record $417 million to a hospitalized woman who claimed in a lawsuit that the talc in the company's iconic baby powder causes ovarian cancer when applied regularly for feminine hygiene.

    A bottle of Johnson's baby powder is displayed. On Monday, Aug. 21, 2017, a Los Angeles County Superior Court spokeswoman confirmed that a jury has ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay $417 million in a case to a woman who claimed in a lawsuit that the talc in the company's iconic baby powder causes ovarian cancer when applied regularly for feminine hygiene. [Associated Press]
  5. Search under way for missing sailors; Navy chief orders inquiry


    SINGAPORE — The U.S. Navy ordered a broad investigation Monday into the performance and readiness of the Pacific-based 7th Fleet after the USS John S. McCain collided with an oil tanker in Southeast Asian waters, leaving 10 U.S. sailors missing and others injured.

    Damage is visible as the USS John S. McCain steers toward Singapore’s naval base on Monday.