For Your Benefit
For and about Hawaii's military

See also: In The Military

Research centers
on veterans’ concerns

Question: What kinds of research does the Department of Veterans Affairs conduct?

Answer: VA investigators have done work in research directed toward the elderly, the HIV-infected, those suffering mental effects of war and other trauma, war-wounded veterans requiring prosthetic devices and sensory assistance aids. Seventy-five percent of VA researchers are practicing physicians and their dual role allows rapid application of research results to patient care.

The VA concentrates on health-care concerns that are prevalent among veterans. For example, VA found that colonoscopy can detect cancers missed by more widely used screening methods for colon cancer; discovered a potential new therapy for chronic pain; developed concepts of the CAT scan; invented the cardiac pacemaker; demonstrated that aspirin reduced rates of death and heart attacks for angina patients; performed the first successful liver transplant; and identified genes associated with Alzheimer's disease and schizophrenia.

Q: What sort of benefits will VA provide to the veterans of Operation Iraqi Freedom?

A: The men and women who served in Iraq during combat are eligible for the same array of VA benefits that went to veterans of other conflicts. That includes GI Bill home-loan guarantees, educational assistance and disability compensation. Each of these programs has its own eligibility rules.

Iraqi Freedom veterans are also covered by a new benefit. For two years after their discharge, veterans who served in the combat zone can receive VA health care for problems related to their military service without having to prove the connection.

For further information, call the VA at 433-1000.For health care information, call the Spark M. Matsunaga VA Medical Center at 433-0600. You can also locate VA benefits and health care programs on our Web site at

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
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


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