Last weekend with picnics, barbecues and golf, we welcomed in the unofficial start of summer. Unfortunately, for many Americans they forgot the true reason why we had a long weekend and that is because it was Memorial Day. Memorial Day is the day we remember those who served our country and who made the ultimate sacrifice to protect our freedoms and our way of life. In this hyper-partisan world that we live in, the one thing that we should all be able to agree upon, whether we are democrats, republicans or independents, is that we are the home of the free because of the brave men and women, past and present, of the United States Armed Forces. 24/7, 365 days a year our armed forces protect and defend our country and our way of life. Therefore, I thought it would be appropriate to remind our veterans that there are a wealth of programs and services available to them that they should take advantage of.
Unfortunately, the government does not do a very good job of informing veterans of the benefits and services available to them. Many veterans mistakenly think that benefits are only available to career military or for those who served in a war zone-that is not correct. If you have served our country in the armed forces there are veteran benefits you are entitled to.
The government does not make it easy and it is sometimes difficult to understand what veteran benefits you are entitled to. VA.gov is a good place to start your research and learn what benefits you are eligible for. In addition, local veteran support groups, as well as local and state agencies for veterans, are great resources for veterans. The internet can also be a great tool to learn about what veteran benefits you are entitled to.
I hate having to mention this but there are many lowlifes in our society who target veterans. Therefore, like anything else in our society you have to use caution and proceed with care. Particularly when it comes to providing sensitive information or paying for services, you have to make sure you’re dealing with a reputable company. Always remember, if someone is pressuring you, whether it is to provide a product or to sign up for a service, it’s probably a good sign that you should walk away.
There are legitimate companies that for a fee will help veterans with their benefits. Unfortunately, there’re also a fair number of companies that are not legit and are nothing but rip offs. Just because a company is run by veterans doesn’t make it legit. Like everything else you have to do your homework on a company before you retain them and the better business bureau is a good starting point.
Our country owes a debt of gratitude to each and every one of our veterans. Whether you served for a few years or made a career out of the military, served in a war zone or not, as a veteran you are entitled to benefits and you should take advantage of them. It would be nice if veteran benefits were easily understood, but unfortunately, that is not the case. Like every other part of the government, the VA has its own archaic bureaucracy. However, it is what it is and those unnecessary roadblocks should not prevent you from the benefits you so justly deserve for protecting and defending our great country.
If you would like Rick to respond to your questions, please email him at Rick@bloomassetmanagement.com.