Saturday, December 6, 2008

War Veterans! Check Your VA Benefits!

As I have prepared to retire from the Army, my wife, Debbie, has watched me deal with the various issues of soon-to-be retired war veterans. She has relatives and friends who are veterans of conflicts from World War II through the present wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. When I brought the VA benefit book home, she read it from cover to cover.

Lo and behold, she learned about pensions that are often available to veterans who served during wartime. While all veterans don’t qualify for various reasons, a lot of them can qualify for monthly pensions because of that wartime service.

Debbie has a friend and former co-worker who lost her job and whose husband is dealing with an illness that made him unable to work. He served multiple tours of duty in Vietnam, but he was unaware that he might qualify for such a benefit. They have little in the way of assets or income, so Debbie got them to go the VA to see if he could qualify.

Sure enough, he did qualify and his new monthly pension is keeping their heads above water. My little wife and her big heart have encouraged others to seek the VA benefits they were unaware of, including her step-father and brother.

While I’m not qualified to go into all the details of such benefits, go to the Department of Veteran’s Affairs website and learn whether or not you, or someone you know, may qualify for these pensions. You should also consider going to your local VA representative and have any possible benefits explained to you by a qualified counselor.

Sometimes our relatives and friends need our help when life has kicked them in the ass. Right now, almost all of us know someone who is hurting because of the current economic crisis. Often these valuable citizens are war-time veterans who have earned benefits they don’t even know about.

If you are such a war veteran or if you know any veteran of ANY war, let them know there may be benefits available to them. Not only will you be doing them a favor, you will be helping to repay them for their sacrifices on behalf of all of us.

I am so very proud of my wife for her efforts to help my fellow warriors and their families.

Charles M. Grist

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