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For Service to Your Country : The Essential Guide to Getting the Veterans' Benefits You've Earned
The Must-Have Guide To Veterans' Benefits
If you're a veteran--or a veteran's family member--you know how hard it is to navigate the VA benefits maze. This definitive guide steers you through the process so that you and your family can get the benefits you're entitled to. Filled with vital information on the latest programs, here is clear, step-by-step, form-by-form advice on cutting through the red tape. And if benefits are denied, it will show you how to appeal an unfair decision.
In this newly updated edition, you'll find essentials on:
Health Care, Disability, and Rehabilitation--including changes in eligibility and access; Emergency Room care at non-VA facilities; Project Hero for veterans in rural areas; the VA's new suicide prevention outreach initiative; the Benefits Delivery at Discharge program (BDD) for transitioning service members.
Education--Complete information on the Post 9/11 GI Bill, which doubles educational benefits to eligible veterans.
VA Loans for Home Ownership--For veterans facing foreclosure or looking to purchase after foreclosure.
Job Preference Eligibility and Entrepreneurship Opportunities--New non-VA services that are available to veterans.
Plus new benefits for dependents and an expanded resource list. When you're dealing with a system that says "no" more than "yes," it helps to know every angle--before you fill out those forms in triplicate.
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January 04, 2011
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Excerpt from For Service to Your Country by Peter S. Gaytan
Our nation's Founding Fathers understood that every American owes a lifetime debt to those who put their own lives in danger to preserve our liberty. Each year we mark Veterans Day with solemn ceremonies. In speeches and editorials, we salute those who have died in defense of our country. We stand in respectful silence as a wreath is laid and Taps is played at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. We are struck by the poignant images of rows of gleaming marble headstones marking the final resting places of our fallen heroes at Arlington National Cemetery and elsewhere. Each year, as President Dwight D. Eisenhower wrote in the first Veterans Day proclamation, we must "solemnly remember the sacrifices of all those who fought so valiantly, on the seas, in the air, and on foreign shores, to preserve our heritage of freedom."
These annual ceremonies are important. They recall the ultimate sacrifice of those who have served. But it is also an opportunity to remember the 25 million veterans and their families who are still with us and to whom we owe a great deal.
For those who have survived but have suffered injuries in the line of duty, we must provide appropriate compensation and a lifetime of health care. For those whose careers were interrupted when they answered the call to serve, we must make available educational opportunities to prepare them for lives outside of the armed forces. For those who have served honorably, we could offer low-cost loans so that they can own their own homes. And at the end of their lives, we owe our veterans final burial rites and resting places that reflect the respect and honor of the nation that they have served.
Today's VA, like the world around us, is more complicated and complex than the agency used by your father and grandfather. But the mission is the same: To provide for the care and welfare of our nation's veterans and their families. Because of your service, you may be eligible for health, education, housing, and burial programs.
This book, For Service to Your Country, will help simplify the paperwork and bureaucracy that accessing these benefits entail. It's an insider's guide to the benefits that the Federal government, state governments, and private sector provide qualified veterans.
To the veterans who pick up this book, these benefits are not charity. Take advantage of these opportunities if you are eligible. You've earned them and deserve them. The greatest privilege of my life has been to wear the uniform of our country in a righteous cause. Whatever we may be today as a nation, it is because many generations of Americans were willing to make the greatest of sacrifices. You have earned the thanks of a grateful nation and I'm proud to salute you.
Robert J. "Bob" Dole is a former U.S. Senator and Co-Chair of the President's Commission on Care for America's Returning Wounded Warriors
To care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan.
Abraham Lincoln made that solemn promise in his second inaugural address on March 4, 1865. It is the motto of the Department of Veterans Affairs and the motivation behind this book.
The weapons and technology of today's armed forces have changed and may not be recognizable to the soldiers of even 50 years ago--but the value of service to our country will never change. Veterans and their families have borne extraordinary burdens in defense of America. As a nation we owe our veterans a debt of gratitude. The benefits we describe in the following chapters are well earned.
We wrote this book to meet the needs of all veterans--old and young. Just as this isn't your father's army--it's also not your father's VA. The bureaucracy is bigger, the forms have multiplied, the benefits have become more complicated. At the same time, the demand for these benefits has grown exponentially, as servicemembers return, often broken and in need of help, from current wars.
For Service to Your Country covers the wide range of legally mandated benefits, as well as the variety of opportunities that the Federal and state governments provide for veterans. Also included are a review of many programs that have been developed by private businesses to attract veterans and a list of those businesses that provide special discounts or gifts for former warriors and their families.
We've written this book to be a practical, step-by-step guide to your earned veterans' benefits. The VA, as well as many Veterans Service Organizations (VSOs), have large websites that provide you with information. At times, these are confusing and require you to move from one link to another in search of information. Too often, these sites are written using technical language that is hard to decipher. But we know there is value to these sites and we've noted important websites for your use throughout this book.
For Service to Your Country is designed as a practical guide to securing your well-earned benefits. Mark it up, underline passages that apply to your case, and make notes in the margins. Take the book with you when you meet with representatives of VA or a Veterans Service Organization to discuss a problem or concern.