For Your Benefit
For and about Hawaii's military

Sunday, October 31, 2004

See also: In The Military

Congress sets
for vet status

Question: For Department of Veterans Affairs purposes, who is a veteran?

Answer: For VA purposes, a "veteran" is someone who meets the criteria established by Congress for eligibility for VA benefits. That usually means someone who has completed his or her initial term of enlistment, and who was discharged or released from the service under conditions other than dishonorable. There are rare circumstances when someone did not complete his or her initial enlistment, yet still are eligible for VA benefits.

Q: With the events in Iraq and Afghanistan on the news daily, children need to be better informed about veterans and their sacrifices. Does the VA have a way of providing this information?

A: The VA has developed a kid's Web site at www.va.gov/kids to teach children about the contributions of veterans. It has information about VA, Veterans Day, scholarships, student volunteer opportunities, rehabilitative and special events for disabled veterans and links to veteran-related sites.

For younger students, VA's site has interactive activities such as puzzles, coloring pages, matching contests and age-appropriate language on a number of patriotic topics. For older students, there is information on volunteer programs, scholarships, educational resources, games and reference links. The teachers' section contains links and suggested classroom activities.

If you have questions about your benefits as a veteran,
call Fred Ballard at the Veterans Affairs at 433-0049
or visit the VA Web site at www.va.gov/hawaii
or the Star-Bulletin at 529-4747.

Gregg K. Kakesako, who covers military affairs for the Star-Bulletin,
can be reached by phone at 294-4075
or by e-mail at gkakesako@starbulletin.com.



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