Vet asks about benefits
January 8, 2013
Veteran living in the U.K. wants info on benefits
Dear Sgt Shaft:
I am way out of touch with possible benefits after being honorably discharged in
1977; I actually enlisted in 1971 after serving in Camp Lejeune and also on the MSG program,
serving at the American Embassy in London for some three years
inclusive. I currently live in the United Kingdom, where I married here
and brought up our two daughters.
Please give me some help and guide me on any benefits that I can claim, retirement or some other financial benefit. Thank you in advance for
your help. I also have a copy of my DD214 if ever required.
Former U.S. Marine Sergeant
I whole heartily agree with my sources who said that "This veteran Marine deserves the thanks of his country for
his service. Unfortunately, he's far off qualifying for retiree
benefits, which require 20 good years of at least inactive duty.
He has 'veteran' status and that entitles him to VA disability compensation if he has a service-connected disability, or pension if he is very low income. He is
eligible for burial in a veteran cemetery in the U.S. His GI Bill benefits expired 10 years following
his discharge from active duty. There are VA
loan benefits which are only available in the U.S.
They suggest that you review the
VA Benefits in Brief, available here.
* The House of Representatives recently passed two pieces of
legislation to better support America's veterans and their families.
H.R. 4057, as amended (392-3), will provide student veterans with more
information to make informed decisions on schools when using their Post-9/11 GI Bill. And, S. 3202 (393-0), the
Dignified Burial and Other Veterans' Benefits Improvement Act of 2012,
are both being sent to the President for signature.
"We have accomplished a lot the past two years," said Rep. Jeff
Miller, chairman of the House Committee on Veterans' Affairs. "These two
bills will provide veterans with greater educational opportunities, more accessible
transition programs, dignified memorial services, and with an eye on the
future, to better care for those who are wounded on the field of battle.
The Committee will continue to work together with the Senate in the
113th to take up the mantle of the greatest issues facing our veterans
today -- veteran unemployment, access to mental health care, and the
disability claims backlog."
Included in the legislation passed is a provision to establish an Open Burn Pit Registry at the Department of
Veterans Affairs (VA). The registry will track the symptoms and
illnesses of those who have served in Operations Iraqi and Enduring
Freedom, and who were exposed to burn pit contaminants.
"As Chair of the Subcommittee on Health, I have heard from countless
veterans who returned home from war consumed with concern about how the
air they breathed in battle, which was often filled with smoke from the
burning of solid waste, could affect their health and well-being," said
Rep. Ann Marie Buerkle. "I am very grateful that the Open Pit Burn
Registry Act the House passed earlier this year is included in this
bipartisan legislation that will be sent to the President. With this
provision, our veterans and their families can be assured that we are
taking every available step to track and monitor their long-term health
Broadly supported by the Veterans Service Organizations (VSOs), the
legislation passed will become law in the near future.
"I have been proud to work closely with Chairman Miller to keep our
veterans needs above the political fray," said Senator Patty Murray,
chairman of the Senate Committee on Veterans' Affairs. "The passage of
these critical bills, that will give veterans important tools to better
utilize their educational benefits and that will ensure they are given
honorable and dignified burials, is just another example of that
critical work. Our veterans deserve nothing less than us working across
party lines to meet the challenges they face."
* Congratulations to the Director of the U.S. Office of Personnel
Management (OPM), John Berry, who received the Regional Partnership
Award from the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (COG). The
award was presented to Mr. Berry at the 2012 Annual Meeting on December
"Working together with the Council of Governments during weather
emergencies helps OPM keep the federal government running, and our
workforce safe," said Mr. Berry on the relationship between OPM and COG.
"It's a team effort, and this partnership makes it possible. I want to
accept this award on behalf of the entire OPM team."
Each year, COG members nominate partners for the Regional Partnership
Award, which highlights those that have worked alongside COG to improve
the quality of life for the Metropolitan Washington area. This award is
given to an individual or organization which supports the programs and
policies of COG.
OPM is responsible for informing the Washington, DC, area on
dismissal and closure procedures during times of extreme weather
conditions or other emergency events. For more information, please see:
* The Sarge joins with Rep. Jeff Miller, chairman of the House
Committee on Veterans' Affairs, on his statement regarding the death of Sen. Daniel Inouye:
"I am saddened by the news this evening of Senator Inouye's passing.
He was one of the last World War II veterans in Congress, and a leading
veteran advocate for more than 50 years. His selfless service to our
nation dates back well before his time on Capitol Hill, where in hard
battle on the fields of Italy in 1945 his actions resulted in being
bestowed the Medal of Honor. With his passing, we remember the bravery
and dedication of the Greatest Generation, and with each day that sets,
we mourn all who battled through this life to find reward in the
* Send letters to Sgt. Shaft, c/o John Fales, P.O. Box 65900,
Washington, D.C. 20035-5900; fax 301/622-3330, call 202/257-5446 or