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Resources for Veterans

A veteran is any person who has served in the US Armed Forces during a time of war or a time of peace. This can include the US Army, US Navy, US Marine Corps, US Air Force, US Coast Guard or the National Guard. Veterans, whether they served in a combat zone or not, have all given a portion of their lives to the protection and service of their country. They, and their families, willing signed up to make the ultimate sacrifice for their fellow citizens, and many have suffered physical and mental repercussions because of it – and many have lost their lives. Because of this, the US Government has several programs in place to help them with life after the military.

David Smith is the Service Officer at Post 123. He can be reached at (616)283-0454.

Accredited American Legion service officers are specially trained to provide expert assistance, free of charge, to veterans and their families. While the majority of a service officer’s work involves application for VA disability benefits, these compassionate professionals also provide information, referrals and resources on education, employment and business, death benefits and other important topics.

Government Websites for Veterans:

Department of Veterans Affairs Provides comprehensive information for everything that the US government offers to its veterans.

Veteran History Project A website dedicated to the history of veterans of every war.

Veterans Business Programs Provides information on the aid available from the US government to help veterans start their own business.

Veterans Issues Provides information on current issues facing veterans and the White House’s plans to further aid these veterans.

Transitioning Veterans The US Department of Labor provides information for veterans about how to transition from the military to the civilian workforce.

Veteran Organizations:

American Cold War Vets Provides support and information for veterans of the Cold War.

National Veteran Owned Business Association Provides support and information, including how to start a business, for veterans who own their own business or run a business.

Hope for Veterans A group that provides support and encouragement for veterans.

Iraq and Afghanistan War Veterans A group that protects the rights of veterans who served in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.

Paralyzed Veterans of America This group provides information, support and pushes for legal protection of veterans who were paralyzed in the line of duty

Veterans for Peace This group is made up of veterans who oppose war.

Vietnam Veterans of America A group that provides information and resources for veterans of the Vietnam War.

Veterans of Foreign Wars A veterans organization that provides benefits such as reduced health care and discounts to major retailers with membership.

Wounded Warrior Project A non-profit organization that collects donations and runs charity drives to help veterans who were wounded in the line of duty.

Swords to Plowshares An organization that aids veterans and their families with employment issues.

Veterans Campaign An organization that specializes in preparing veterans to run for public office.

Service Members Legal Defense Network An organization dedicated to helping veterans who were affected by the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy.

Pearl Harbor Survivors Association A group dedicated to providing information and aid to veterans who survived the attack on Pearl Harbor.

Military Officers Association of America A group made up of veteran officers of the military.

Herobox An organization that provides care packages to active duty military in war zones and provides helps to veterans once they return home.

Disabled American Veterans A group made up of disabled veterans that provides support and resources to those who were wounded during service.

Marine Corp League An organization for veterans of the US Marine Corps.

American Veterans Provides information and resources concerning government and private organization aid to veterans.

American Ex-POWS A support group for veterans who were prisoners of war.

Veteran Benefits and Services:

The US Government offers several services and benefits to military veterans. The most notable of these is paying for college tuition through the GI Bill. Any veteran who has a honorable discharge from the military is typically eligible to have most or all of their college tuition covered, as well as a living stipend. The Government also provides disabled veterans with a program known as Vocational Rehabilitation, which aids veterans in refining their job skills to meet today’s market. Outside of education, the Government also provides pension plans as well as a VA loan for mortgages. While the government does not handle the loan process, they do provide banks with a guarantee letter, which often allows military members with a chance of receiving a better interest rate on their mortgage and little to no down-payment. The US Government also provides monthly payments to disabled veterans based on a portion of their monthly salary while in the armed forces.

Veteran Benefits Overview Provides a basic outline of the benefits available to veterans.

Veteran Pension Details the different types of pensions available to veterans.

Benefit Finder An online tool provided by the US government to determine what benefits a veteran is eligible for.

VA Loans Provides information on VA loans and how they work.

GI Bill Information concerning the different educational benefits that veterans may be eligible for.

Veteran Disability Provides an overview of the compensation available to disabled veterans.

Vocational Rehabilitation Describes the benefits veterans may be eligible for to help them reenter the civilian workforce.

Survivor Benefits Provides an overview of the three different types of survivor benefits available to veterans and their families.

Veterans Health and Well-Being:

Due to the nature of military service, many veterans face mild to severe health issues following discharge. This can include any injuries sustained during their service as well as several mental health issues caused by seeing combat. The Government provides several mental health counseling services to these veterans, and disabled veterans are eligible to utilize any of the hundreds of Veteran Medical Centers run by the US Government. Many veterans are also eligible for reduced cost health insurance through the military provider TriCARE. The Government also tracks any potential health issues during periods of service, and may later compensate veterans for potential health issues that may be connected to their service location. An example of this would be compensation for exposure to asbestos and Agent Orange. The health of veterans is of the utmost concern to the US, and there are several programs in place to help them.

Health Benefits Provides an overview of the health benefits available to veterans.

Health Care for Veterans Provides information on the health care benefits available to veterans

Veteran and Military Health Provides information on the possible health issues facing veterans.

Veteran Health Describes the Center for Disease Control works to protect the health of active duty service members and veterans.

Substance Abuse A resource for information and possible counseling of veterans who have developed a substance abuse problem.

Veterans and Suicide An organization dedicated to helping veterans who are entertaining thoughts of suicide and their families.

Veterans Mental Health An article that provides information on the current mental health issues of veterans.

Tricare The reduced cost, full coverage health insurance that many veterans are eligible for.

The Veteran Health Care System A report on the size, efficiency and support provided by the veteran health care system for veterans.

Military Health The military health organization provides resources and information on health benefits for veterans.

Veteran Memorials:

National World War II Memorial A memorial dedicated to WWII veterans, located in Washington D.C.

Vietnam Veterans Memorial Provides information on the famous wall in Washington, D.C. dedicated to Vietnam Veterans.

Korean War Memorial Provides background information on the memorial dedicated to Korean War veterans in Washington D.C.

Veteran Memorial Park Information concerning the memorial park located in Monterey, California.

Jeffersontown Veteran Memorial Park A memorial park located in Jeffersontown, Kentucky dedicated to all veterans.

Washington Monument Provides information concerning the Washington Monument located in Washington D.C.

Gettysburg Includes information on the 1,000 monuments to the Civil War found in this Pennsylvania town.

Iwo Jima Memorial A memorial dedicated to the US Marines who served in World War II.

Yorktown Victory Center A park and memorial dedicated to veterans of the Revolutionary War.

Tomb of the Unknown Soldier Provides information on the one of the most beloved veteran memorials in the country, located in Virginia.

Veteran Cemeteries:

Arlington National Cemetery The official website of the most well-known and prestigious veteran cemeteries in the country.

Fort Logan National Cemetery A veteran cemetery located in Denver, Colorado – this website provides an archive of the veterans buried there.

National Cemetery of the Pacific A veteran cemetery located in Hawaii.

Marietta National Cemetery A Georgia cemetery specifically for veterans of the Civil War.

Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery The main veteran cemetery in Chicago, Illinois.

Camp Butler National Cemetery A veteran cemetery located in Springfield, Illinois.

Lexington National Cemetery This cemetery, located in Kentucky, is the burial site for hundreds of veterans.

Annapolis National Cemetery Located in Maryland, this cemetery is 4 acres large and is the burial site for hundreds of veterans.

Bath National Cemetery This veteran cemetery is located in the state of New York, and the website provides a registry of the veterans buried there.

Raleigh National Cemetery A Civil War cemetery located in North Carolina.

Philadelphia National Cemetery A registry of the Civil War veterans buried in this cemetery.

Dallas-Fort Worth Cemetery The official website of the veteran memorial cemetery located in Texas.

Alexandria National Cemetery Provides a brief history on this veteran cemetery.

Tahoma National Cemetery A map of this veteran cemetery located in the state of Washington.

Grafton National Cemetery Provides a brief history of this veteran cemetery, located in West Virginia.