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Veterans of Foreign Wars is the largest organization of combat veterans and one of the four leading Veterans Service Organizations. The VFW has quite a few services and programs to benefit post-9/11 veterans.
Here are a few of the ways the VFW helps post-9/11 vets:
1. Sport Clips Help a Hero Scholarship
Eligible service members and veterans can receive up to $5,000 paid directly to their accredited college. Besides being a citizen of the United States, an eligible service member must meet these requirements:
- ranked E-5 or below
- currently serving in active duty, Reserve or National Guard
- completed basic training/AIT (or technical school or equivalent)
- have a need for financial help
An eligible veteran must meet similar requirements to those listed above but must also:
- be retired or honorably discharged
- been ranked E-5 or below at time of separation
2. National Veterans Service
This group of specialists has successfully helped veterans receive more than $1 billion in compensation and benefits each year. The service officers are specially trained and can help veterans with their claims process for pension or compensation with the Department of Veterans Affairs. Their assistance is available at no cost and has proven to be invaluable to many veterans.
3. Unmet Needs
Deployments and military activity can sometimes create financial burdens. This program can help service members and veterans who have deployed in the last six years and who meet the requirements. Beneficiaries can receive a grant of up to $5,000 to help with financial difficulties, and creditors receive the grant funds directly.
4. Benefits Delivery at Discharge
This program helps transitioning service members with the acquisition of VA benefits. Trained personnel help with the claims process and have information about medical, education and home loan benefits. Service members within six months of their ETS or retirement date can apply for assistance within this program.
Author’s Note: I was honorably discharged from the Army after five years, and going from the military to the civilian world was more difficult than I expected. If I had known then what I know now about the VFW and their programs geared toward helping veterans – things might have been easier for me. My military service is something I am proud of, and all vets I know agree with me when I say that I am better for having served. It is nice to know that service members and veterans have the VFW in their corner – willing to help whenever and wherever possible.
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