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Published On: Wed, Jan 21st, 2015

Benefits Offered to Veterans

Being a veteran of the armed forces comes with certain hurdles that others might not have. However, it does come with some benefits that counterbalance those hurdles. The VA, or Veterans Administration, has many programs and services that are exclusively available to veterans. Some of them are more worthwhile than others.

For example, other folks don’t have three years of free higher education like we do, as granted to us by the Post 9-11 GI Bill. Not only are we, as veterans, able to pursue a college education, but the GI Bill offers housing allowances to cover cost of living while we are in college.

I never understood why the GI Bill offers three years instead of the full four years for a Bachelor’s degree; but, there are ways to use it to receive a full Bachelor’s degree. For instance, CLEP testing is one way to attain a Bachelor’s degree faster than the normal three years. Also, some colleges offer accelerated programs. These can allow a Bachelor’s degree to be attained in three. Even if none of these options strike your fancy, one year of student loans is far easier on your wallet than four.

California Veterans memorial monument cross unconstitutionalAnother great resource offered by the VA is their $0 down home loans. Low VA Rates for veterans offers loans with rates that are far easier to get than a standard bank loan. There is a ceiling to this loan of $417,000, but, as long as you aren’t the Waltons, you ought to be able to find an extremely nice home under this price. These rates allow you to spend less money on your monthly mortgage payment. This means a nicer car, home upgrades, or more money sent into your kids’ college fund. The VA home loans service is one of the best things, we as veterans, have as a benefit.

Now, every veteran, and many non-veterans, knows about USAA. I go through them for my auto insurance. I get a giggle each time an auto insurance company calls. They tell me they can beat my rate to get me interested in talking to them. Then they ask who supplies my auto insurance. When I tell them it’s USAA, there is a brief moment of silence, followed by a disappointed-sounding “Okay, well, have a nice day”. It confirms to me that veterans are offered so many awesome resources that other folks wish they could use.

Other great benefits for veterans are free or low-cost medical care at VA hospitals, pension programs, job training programs, veterans-only job fairs, and free counseling services for veterans with PTSD. Any and all of these can be utilized by any med-boarded or honorably discharged veteran. These programs and services have been created by the government to thanks us, veterans, for our service, and to acknowledge everything we sacrificed to support and defend our home.

It isn’t hard to find out how to go about getting these benefits for yourself!

Google is a wonder. Type in there what you need and it will pop up. There are even different types of free therapy for PTSD patients, if you aren’t into counseling. Horticulture therapy and music therapy are just a few of the programs that the VA offers to pay for. There are also small business loans for veterans who wish to “be their own boss.”

This is another great resource for those of us who want to really life work for us!

As a veteran, I have to say that there are days when I wonder how much different my life, mind, and body would be if I had never gone into the military. Then again, I think about why I did it, and that I did make a difference; just like each of you did. These services are here to benefit us. We need not think of the as “hand-outs”, but, rather, as compensation for our sacrifices. Utilize the things that our government and country has created and made available to us.

Thank you all for your service!

Guest Author: Adam Lee

On the DISPATCH: Headlines  Local  Opinion

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About the Author

- Adam Lee is a financial writer who has insightful knowledge in dealing with different financial issues. He tries to help people to get out of difficult financial situations by contributing financial write ups to websites and blogs such as Moneyforlunch.com and Moneynewsnow.com

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  1. Ron Kness says:

    You can get a four-year bachelor’s degree with 36 months of the GI Bill. Most students only go to school for 9 months per academic year. Nine times four is 36.

    Granted CLEP will get you your degree quicker, but you can do it without it.

  2. Your Name... says:

    Thirty-six months of GI Bill benefits is enough to get a bachelor’s degree by going to school 9 months per year for four years.

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