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Posts tagged ‘Veterans Aid’

Veteran homeless rate declined by 47% in the last 7 years

According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), and the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH), there was a nearly 50% decline in veteran homelessness since 2010.

The homelessness rate dropped by 16% alone from the previous January under a strategic partnership between various government agencies. The results were astounding, and we can expect to see more programs like this in the future. Read more

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Interview with General Colin Powell

In a multi part interview, General Colin Powell speaks with Veterans of FreeEnterprise.

The first thing you need to know about Colin Powell is that you should address him as “General Powell,” not “Secretary Powell.” The second thing you should know is that he is funny—disarmingly funny, in fact.

One of the most esteemed leaders in U.S. military history, Powell joined the Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) as an unsure college student, eventually serving in the Army for more than three decades. Powell, who served as President Reagan’s National Security Advisor, was promoted to the rank of general in 1989, the same year President George H.W. Bush tapped him to become the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

After a brief retirement, Powell returned to public service in 2001, when he became the first African American Secretary of State under President George W. Bush. Powell left that position in 2005 and has since devoted himself full-time to his philanthropic and professional work.

Looking back on his decades-long, boundary-shattering career, Powell says that his military background has had a profound impact on his success.

Full interview here

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Veterans Given Federal Grant To Help With Homelessness

A $500,000 federal grant has been issued in the interests of keeping local veterans from being homeless in the country they served. U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin met with local vets recently to see how the funds were helping them get an apartment, counseling to get sober or help with other personal challenges.

“Our job is to get them (vets) housed quickly and then we surround them with services, so going forward, hopefully we will break the homeless cycle that the veteran has experienced,” Chestnut Health Systems case manager Stacey Kwiatkowski said.

“I don’t look at them as an organization. I look at them… as angels and Stacey… is my guardian angel,” said U.S. Navy veteran Greg Snyder of Alton. “I ended up on the streets…. I never ever thought I would end up on the streets.”

The money operates two programs with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. The Supportive Services for Veterans and Families program has received $500,000 a year since 2014 and the Healthcare for Homeless Veterans program has received $81,000 since 2013. They have served more than 800 vets and family members since 2013 through the four Chestnut clinics in Belleville, Edwardsville, Granite City and Maryville.

Durbin, a Democrat from Springfield, was at Chestnut in Granite City to meet metro-east vets. The money is the local share of a $9.5 million federal grant to Illinois.

“Too often, our nation’s veterans find themselves facing financial difficulties and the prospect of homelessness. This VA funding will help ensure that organizations like Chestnut Health Systems have the necessary resources to help veteran families transition to permanent housing,” Durbin said.

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American Veterans Aid on Current VA Application Process

The new application process will enable war era veterans to attain the benefits which they deserve. The VA has recently announced the implementation of a new application process for VA health benefits. They published a final regulation on September 12 that allows former service members to apply for VA health benefits over the phone. According to American Veterans Aid, a private company committed to helping war era vets and their surviving spouses receive Aid & Attendance Benefit, this recent move will not just benefit veterans—it will also benefit the VA itself.

As a company dedicated to serving war vets and their family, American Veterans Aid is extremely happy about the VA’s new application process. “This new process is going to help many veterans across the nation,” says a spokesperson from American Veterans Aid. “Some of them can barely manage to step out of the house due to certain health conditions, so being able to apply over the phone is definitely going to make things a lot easier for them.”

American Veterans Aid was founded in 2010 by a war vet after learning that many veterans were having a hard time getting VA benefits. Wanting to help find a way for veterans to receive benefits without unnecessary delays, he, together with his partner, formed a team of 23 members that would provide world-class service to veteran clients needing health benefits. The company has helped more veterans and their spouses apply for and get the Aid and Attendance Benefit than any other firm in the United States.

“Vets are not the only ones that are going to benefit from this new procedure,” adds the spokesperson. “The VA is going to save a lot of time, money and resources by allowing veterans to apply over the phone. “

Previously, vets had to either apply in person at a VA medical center or submit a paper application to the department. This procedure was so inefficient and slow that it created a backlog of 847,882 applications that spanned nearly 15 years and included submissions from over 300,000 deceased veterans.

Fortunately, after the VA inspector general gave a report on the backlog a year ago, the VA eventually took the right steps to change the outdated application process and removed a requirement that needed applicants to physically sign the necessary paperwork.

Now, vets can apply over the phone, and VA employees will walk them through the process, including educating them on copayment requirements and third party insurance. Vets can also continue to apply for benefits in person, according to the VA. To learn more about the intracacies of VA benefits, visit:


American Veterans Aid is a company that helps war era vets and their surviving spouses receive the Aid & Attendance Benefit, a tax-free benefit given by the VA which provides financial aid to help offset the cost of long term care for those who need it. It was founded in 2010 by a war vet after learning that many vets were having a difficult time getting VA benefits.

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Veteran Scholarships You Should Take Advantage Of

The GI Bill, as you know, is a Department of Veterans Affairs education benefit earned by members of Active Duty, Selected Reserve and National Guard Armed Forces and their families. The benefit is designed to help servicemembers and eligible veterans cover the costs associated with getting an education or training. The GI Bill — even tuition assistance (TA) — can be a very useful for American Veterans as financial aid for college. But check out these other options to see if you are eligible for the six veteran aid scholarships that you could take advantage of now:

1. American Legion Auxiliary

The American Legion Auxiliary offers opportunities for financial aid for their members — more details here. Beyond individual service members, there is also a scholarship for children of service members.

2. Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association (AFCEA)

The AFCEA requires applicants to be associated with the following fields of study: electrical, chemical systems, aerospace engineering, physics, science, mathematics education, information technology management, or computer science. Applications for scholarships are considered by AFCEA chapter (i.e. location). More info here.

3. Army Aviation Association of America (AAAA)

In accordance with the AAAA, scholarships may be available to a current member, the spouse of a current member, a son or daughter of a current member, a grandchild of a current member, or the unmarried sibling of a current member. More info here.

4. Army Nurse Corps Association (ANCA)

Enrolled in an accredited baccalaureate or advanced degree program in nursing, nurse anesthesia, or related healthcare field? You may be a prime candidate for an ANCA scholarship — More info here.

5. Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW)

25 scholarships awarded annually to eligible members and members of immediate family. Note: Your EAS must be within 36 months, prior to applying. More info here.

6. Veterans United Foundation

Up to 20 scholarships awarded every year. Applicants must be pursuing a higher education degree; spouses and children of service members eligible — More info here.

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