Monday, September 24, 2012

Veterans Benefits

*DISCLAIMER* A Veteran Benefit Rant

So I was researching some Veterans benefits information for a friend.  Two years ago I found out that Iraq and Afghanistan war Veterans were entitled to 5 years of medical care at the VA (and the only reason I knew this was because I worked at the VA).  When I went through the transition program before leaving active duty, there was NO mention of it.
Today, I read this benefit still applies but to two separate groups of Veterans.  If a Veteran left active duty after 2003, he or she can still apply for medical benefits as long as 5 years has not passed.  BUT, if a Veteran left active duty before 2003 and still hasn't registered, he or she can't get the benefit.  

Excuse me but is the war over?  Did I miss the huge welcome home parades and congressional announcements that we have ended the war in Afghanistan?  Has the unemployment rate for war Veterans dropped below 15%?

At what point do we as a nation realize that Veterans are entitled to these benefits because they sacrifice their lives at the request of their government?  And at what point do Americans realize that without an all-volunteer military, the draft will be implemented because somebody has to ensure the United States of America is the fiercest military on the planet?

Here's something else too.  If you think Veterans are only sacrificing their lives, think again.  Their families suffer, their friends suffer and they suffer.  War is not pretty.  It is not glory.  It is not adventure.  It is ugly.  And I have seen too many families ripped apart in the last eleven years.  Those families and their Veterans deserve every single benefit this nation can give them.

So, Congress, when are you going to extend the deadline to register for 5 years of medical coverage for Veterans to whenever they can get an appointment at the VA or even better, to whenever they can get a person to pick up the phone at the VA to make an appointment?  Because here's the other funny thing, of the 11 years worth of Veterans I know, NONE of them knew they were entitled to free medical coverage.

What a travesty during a time of major unemployment, ever-increasing medical insurance and oh yeah, ongoing war.

For more on Veteran Benefits, please see the Veteran Benefits link at the VA.


  1. Are their respective services just not telling them about the potential benefits prior to outprocessing, or is the AF just that much better at it?

    Charles Lee

    1. VA centers all have transitions people to go talk to the bases in their areas.. i don't know if it's they aren't sharing it or they are focused on other things

  2. I know the AF integrates all ranks into its transition sessions, but I don't know about other services. Then guard and reserves may be different still.

  3. I need to get more info from you on this!

    Rachelle Wiler Williams

  4. Anytime Rachelle! It's not hard but you know the federal government, it's convulted. But you can make it happen. Check the Military Links page up top too; I found an enormous repository of Veteran information and put it there.