Attention, veterans in Flroida: 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 .
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A VA spokeswoman said the error was not noticed by agency proofreaders before it went to the printer in late 2013, and regional VA officials decided to distribute the calendars starting in the fall of 2013 rather than reprint them at great cost.
The calendar contains monthly “wellness messages” to 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 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.