Health care offered to vets living or traveling overseas
I'm planning a vacation overseas this summer. Does the Department of Veterans Affairs take care of any medical problems, and provide other benefits outside the United States?
Answer: The VA will pay for medical services for the treatment of service-connected disabilities and related conditions or for medical services needed as part of a vocational rehabilitation program for veterans traveling or living outside the United States.
Before using the program, veterans living in Canada should register with the VA Center in White River Junction, VT 05009-0001, phone (802) 296-6379. Those living in the Philippines should register with the U.S. VA office in Pasay City, phone 011-632-833-4566.
All other veterans living outside the U.S. should register with the Denver Foreign Medical Program office, P.O. Box 65021, Denver, CO 80206-9021, phone (303) 331-7590.
Veterans traveling or living in Germany, Panama, Australia, Italy, United Kingdom, Japan and Spain can call toll free (877) 345-8179. Veterans in Mexico or Costa Rico can use the same number but must first dial the United States country code.
You can also obtain more information by calling the VA Medical Center at 433-0600 for medical questions and the VA Honolulu Regional Office at 827-1000 for benefit information.
Q: Who is eligible to receive a burial flag?
A: Generally, the flag is given to the next of kin, as a keepsake, after its use during the funeral service. When there is no next of kin, the VA will furnish the flag to a friend making a request for it.
The National Cemetery of the Pacific does have an Avenue of Flags, and families of veterans buried in Punchbowl may donate the burial flags of their loved ones to be flown on patriotic holidays. Call Punchbowl for further information at 532-3720.
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.