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Gulf War Veterans Show Abnormalities

Did you know a new imaging study has found that Gulf War veterans have what appear to be unique structural changes in the wiring of their brains?  This fits with the scientific consensus that Gulf War Syndrome (GWS) is a physical condition rather than a psychosomatic one and should be treated with painkilling drugs instead of counseling. The images indicate that in GWS, these nerve bundles break down and may have trouble forming connections, a phenomenon that has not been associated with any other illness. This suggests that the brain circuitry, rather than any specific brain area, is disrupted in people with the condition.


Medicaid Expansion Will Benefit Veterans
Did you know a new analysis suggests that veterans stand to benefit substantially from President Obama's healthcare law, particularly in states that choose to expand their Medicaid programs?  Researchers with the Urban Institute report that as many as 40 percent of uninsured U.S. veterans would be eligible for healthcare under the law's insurance exchanges or its expanded Medicaid program. There are currently about 1.3 million uninsured veterans, the report said, but fewer than half of those who would qualify under broader Medicaid eligibility live in states that will accept the expansion.











Veterans Crisis Command Center
Did you know veterans from North Carolina and other states took advantage of The American Legion's Veterans Crisis Command Center (VCCC) in Charlotte, N.C., during the Legion's 96th annual national convention?


Over the course of three days, the center assisted 283 veterans and family members and helped award $300,885 in retroactive benefits – many of them for disabilities that were rated on the spot by Department of Veterans Affairs staff from the VA regional office in Winston-Salem, N.C.  For more information call 1-800-433-3318.


Arizona Bill Passed

Did you know Arizona was the third state to pass legislation that eases veterans' entry into the licensed and professional fields?  H.B. 2076 -- which passed unanimously in the state's senate and is expected to be signed into law by Gov. Janice Brewer -- will make it easier for veterans with combat medical training to gain Licensed Professional Nursing certification. Essentially, H.B. 2076 will allow medical training obtained in the military to count as the civilian equivalent for training required to become a Licensed Professional Nurse. The bill also will streamline the process of obtaining a temporary nursing license for veterans. Members of the American Legion wanting to know the status of similar legislation in their states, or who want to assist in these efforts or provide updates of what efforts are occurring in their states should email Steve Gonzalez of the Legion's Economic Division at


Survivors Benefit Plan

Did you know spouses or disabled dependent children might be eligible to receive payments from the Survivors Benefit Plan if the service member elected to pay into the plan when he retired from the military?












Death Gratuity

Did you know a surviving family member designated by the service member could be eligible for a benefit known as the death gratuity if the service member dies while on active duty or in a drilling status?


Unjust Law Hurts Some Veterans

Did you know that if you’re retired from the military and you also have a service-connected disability from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), you may have a financial problem or develop one due to a current law called “concurrent receipt.” Here’s how it works. If you are retired from the military you receive a pension based upon years of service. If you also have a service-connected disability you are entitled to receive a disability benefit from the VA. The “percentage” of your VA disability rating is where things get dicey. If your disability rating by the VA is 50% to 100%, you are entitled to your full military pension and your VA disability benefit, known as “concurrent receipt.” Not only are you retired like other healthy military retirees, but you also suffered a service-connected injury for which you receive tax-exempt compensation from the VA. However, if your VA disability rating is determined to be below 50%, the monthly disability payment that you receive from the VA is automatically subtracted from your monthly military retirement check. It would be difficult to find a more unfair law that arbitrarily penalizes some veterans.  And, needless to say, when retired service-connected veterans below 50% find out about this law they are more than angry.

Did You Know?

Date Difference

Did you know the Department of Defense (DoD) recognizes the Vietnam War era as November 1, 1955 to May 15, 1975?   The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) recognizes the Vietnam War era as February 28, 1961 to May 7, 1975, making thousands of veterans who served in the Vietnam conflict prior to 1961 ineligible for wartime benefits such as VA pensions and in some cases free health care.

Vaccinations for Caregivers

Did you know VA offers COVID-19 testing and vaccinations for caregivers participating in the Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers?


Exposure Dates Extended

Did you know last year, two veterans groups published a white paper citing research to support that "as likely as not," veterans who served on Guam from 1962 to 1975 met the legal standard for exposure to Agent Orange and other "dioxin-containing herbicides." Now, the groups National Veterans Legal Services Program and Veterans Legal Services Clinic at Yale Law have released updated research expanding that timeline to include veterans who served on Guam from 1958 to 1980.


VA Debt Relief

Did you know veterans facing economic hardship during the COVID-19 pandemic will soon see extended debt relief options from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)?  By extending debt relief through September 30, 2021, VA reaffirms its commitment to helping veterans getting through these hard times.  VA will continue suspension of collection on all veteran benefit overpayments and medical copayment debts incurred after April 1, 2020.  VA is suspending this debt collection to provide veterans continued financial relief due to the COVID-19 pandemic.











Apply for Respite Care

Did you know AARP and the Elizabeth Dole Foundation announced that Respite Relief for Military and Veteran Caregivers, originally a pilot program in a handful of states, is going nationwide?  The program gives some eligible family caregivers access to no-cost, short-term assistance to help those caring for wounded, ill or injured veterans or service members. It helped 500 families in 2020.  Click here to apply.


State Benefits For LGBT Veterans

Did you know the Colorado Senate unanimously approved a Bill that would provide state benefits to LGBT veterans dismissed from the military with a less than honorable discharge because of their sexual orientation or gender identity or expression?  Senate Bill 26 would make LGBT veterans eligible for tuition assistance available to the military, teaching grants, burial at the Homelake Veterans Cemetery in Monte Vista or any other state-owned veterans cemetery and, hunting licenses for which veterans do not need to take a hunter safety course.











Automobile Deals for Veterans

Did you know through a new affinity partnership between TrueCar and an e-commerce website for active and veteran U.S. military members, first responders and law enforcement, those individuals will be able to receive upfront transactable price offers on vehicles?  TrueCar’s partnership is with GovX, an e-commerce website for active and veteran U.S. military, police, fire, emergency rescue and medical technicians, and others from related government agencies.  Under the program, those GovX members will be able to see what others paid for the same vehicle of interest and use TrueCar’s digital deal-building capabilities. 


One Stop Shop for Veterans

Did you know there is a “one stop shop” for veterans seeking assistance after an emergency or natural disaster? is a website that has the ability to deliver 70 forms of assistance from 17 federal agencies. There, users can apply for disaster assistance, check application status, identify FEMA Disaster Recovery Center (DRC), find housing assistance and more.