Veterans Benefits Information guide to VA benefits

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Veterans Benefits Information

Luis Carlos Montalván, Advocate for Soldiers With PTSD, Dies at 43

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Mr. Montalván was an Iraq war veteran and best-selling author who toured the country with his service dog, Tuesday.

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Miller Statement on House Passage of Veterans Bills

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Today the House passed two veterans-related bills: H.R. 5099, as amended, the Communities Helping Invest through Property and Improvements Needed for Veterans Act of 2016, also referred to as the CHIP IN for Vets Act of 2016, would authorize the Department of Veterans Affairs to carry out a pilot program to allow non-federal entities - including state or city governments, nonprofit organizations and benefactors - to donate up to five facilities to VA. H.R. 6435 would allow directors of VA’s regional networks to enter into a contract with an appropriate non-VA entity with expertise in health care evaluation to investigate any VA medical center within that director’s jurisdiction. These bills now await consideration by the Senate. Following House passage of the bills, Chairman Miller released the below statement. “The support and involvement of outside stakeholders is absolutely crucial to VA’s success, and these bills would help facilitate more of that. H.R. 6435 allows vital third party oversight of VA facilities, and the CHIP IN for Vets Act would broaden the pool of resources available to VA for its infrastructure needs. I’m proud to stand with my colleagues in passing these bills and urge the Senate to consider them without delay.” - Rep. Jeff Miller, Chairman, House Committee on Veterans' Affairs

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How Pearl Harbor Shaped the Modern World

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Seventy-five years after the attack drew the United States into World War II, an abiding memory is fading.

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VA Works with Veteran-Run Company to Offer Veterans More Secure, Convenient Online Services

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Today, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced that, with help from Veteran-run small business, Veterans will now be able to manage their own health care and benefits online more simply and safely. now meets the 'Level of Assurance 3' (LOA3) information assurance standard, which will allow VA to offer Veterans more features on a single convenient site. This is the highest level of security used to protect user data and privacy, and VA is a leader in both the government and private sectors with an LOA3 logon account.

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Fishing tournament benefits OCW

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A 30-minute conversation between a Sons of The American Legion member and the owner of a fishing pier in North Carolina where an annual fishing tournament is held resulted in nearly $5,000 in donations to the Legion’s Operation Comfort Warriors (OCW) program.

While visiting his beachside residence in Avon, N.C., Steve Gower, a member of SAL Squadron 327 in Norfolk, Va., met Joe Thompson. Thompson, owner of Koru Village Oceanfront Resort and Spa and the Avon Fishing Pier, shared with Gower that he wanted the third annual PBR Classic Fishing Tournament to benefit wounded veterans. Gower shared about OCW and Thompson thought the program “seemed like a perfect fit,” he said. “Working with Steve and his team was nothing short of inspiring … great group of guys.”

The fishing tournament was held last month over Veterans Day weekend and involved more than 50 fishermen reeling in blue fish and red drum off the Avon Fishing Pier. Tournament registration fees, sponsor fees, raffle prizes, 50/50 drawings and donations all benefited OCW.

“I preach OCW all the time and what people love most about it is that 100 percent of donations support wounded veterans. That’s instrumental,” Gower said. “So at the tournament, people really went all out for what we were doing for OCW and The American Legion family. We had more people thanking us for doing what we were doing to give back to veterans. It was really touching.”

A table filled with OCW giveaways, Legion brochures and membership applications was set up at the pier and manned by Gower, Squadron 327 Commander Fred Vaccarella, SAL Past National Vice Commander Jeff Evans and SAL Veterans Affairs and Rehabilitation Committee Chairman Clint Bolt. Gower said the Legion table set-up and the sharing of the work of the Legion family for veterans, servicemembers and their families resulted in a lot of distribution of American Legion material and interest in the organization.

“The support we received and the generosity of all in attendance was impressive,” Gower said. The Legion and OCW was so well received that OCW will once again be the beneficiary for next year’s fishing tournament.

“Everybody had a great time and everybody learned a lot from it, and I’m looking forward to next year. It’s going to be a whole lot bigger,” Gower said.

Thompson agreed.

“The tournament was a huge success. Our intentions are to grow it … grow the tournament, grow the benefit,” he said.

Several OCW giveaway bags were left over from the event, which gave Gower the idea to fill with handmade Christmas cards from children to give to veterans receiving care at VA’s in Virginia. Nearly 15 elementary schools in the Chesapeake, Norfolk and Portsmouth area are making cards for veterans, which Gower said, “will put a smile on a lot of veterans’ faces.”

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Did you know?

A veteran’s family must request a United States flag.

A flag is provided at no cost to drape the casket or accompany the urn of a deceased veteran. Generally, the flag is given to the next of kin. Only one flag may be provided per veteran. Upon the request of the family, an “Application for United States Flag for Burial Purposes” (VA Form 21-2008) must be submitted along with a copy of the veteran’s discharge papers. Flags may be obtained from VA regional offices and most U.S. Post Offices.