First and foremost:
Inform vets and surviving spouses of benefits due them.
Provide initial assistance to submit for the appropriate benefits.
Every congregation has members or their friends who are missing out on vital benefits. (Ignorance, in this case, is NOT bliss.)
The goal of the outreach is to inform vets of their benefits and connect them with the appropriate Federal and State VA offices, often through service organizations such the VFW, DAV and American Legion. The ministry to veterans was formed out of the experiences of several veterans ranging from WW-II through the First Gulf War. And now, we have the long serving veterans from the continuing wars in Southwest Asia.
First phase—Look within our individual congregations.
Second phase—Survey our friends (may run concurrently).
A proposed method for the above is found in the “Who are they“section of the main menu. It is just a suggested approach; others may find different ways to accomplish the same goals.
To read a commentary on the risks of serving and a personal account, please click here — The Risks As we have shared with other vets, we have found that many of them have very sketchy to no knowledge of what is available to them. Benefits, such as hearing aids all the way to significant permanent disability funds of up to $3,000 a month for some of the dreaded diseases attributable to Viet Nam’s Agent Orange, were unknown. This “missing out” was particularly true for several widows of Agent Orange vets.
While this is a ministry that is in no way limited by one’s beliefs or faith tradition. We especially want to reach out to vets and spouses who have been missed by or lost in the “system.”
It is not our intention to shepherd casework through the VA system. That’s the purpose of the veterans service organizations i.e. American Legion, VFW, DAV, Purple Heart Association and many others.