Veterans

June 17, 2013

Deadline looms for Ohio veterans to claim bonuses from state

Lisa Cornwell
Associated Press

Time is running out for eligible military veterans to claim Ohio bonuses of up to $1,500, and officials are worried that thousands of veterans may miss out by not applying.

Navy veteran Robert Erb III describes his bonus for service in the Persian Gulf and Afghanistan war eras as a ìreal blessing for him and his family.
You don’t join for the benefits, but they can really help when you come back home,î said Erb, 41, of northeast Ohioís Fairport Harbor.

Ohio voters in 2009 approved a $200 million bond issue to fund bonuses for veterans of the Persian Gulf, Afghanistan and Iraq war eras, and the Persian Gulf-era application deadline is Dec. 31.

While over $55.7 million has been paid to more than 66,000 veterans or family members for all three bonus periods since August 2010, there could be as many as 90,000 who havenít applied, including probably several thousand from the Persian Gulf era, according to the Ohio Department of Veterans Services.
ìOur Persian Gulf-era veterans need to take action right away,î department Director Tom Moe said.

While about 10,000 veterans from that era have received bonuses, officials canít say how many still need to apply, department spokesman Michael McKinney said.

The federal Department of Veterans Affairs estimates just over 100,000 Ohioans served during the Persian Gulf era. But the VA looks at a longer time period than the bonus period, and state and county officials say they donít get general information from the Defense Department on returning veterans and when they served.

The VA estimates that 75,000 to 80,000 Ohioans have served since 9/11.

State officials and county veterans commissions that help with the applications have worked to provide bonus information through traditional media ads, social media, veterans events and other means. The state last week approved a direct mailing to Ohioans with birthdays from 1950 or later who identify themselves as veterans on driverís license renewals, McKinney said.

But officials know they havenít reached everyone.

The executive director of the Cuyahoga County Veterans Service Commission in northeast Ohio says veterans tend to put more weight on ìwhat they hear from fellow veterans.

ìDespite all we do to get the word out, most tell us: ëMy buddy told me, Robert Schloendorn said.

The executive director of the Butler County Veterans Service Commission in southwest Ohio believes some may be reluctant because ìthey think it’s a handout.

ìItís not a handout,î Executive Director Curtis McPherson said. ìItís a thank you they earned for serving their country.

Eligible veterans must have been Ohio residents when entering the service and when applying for bonuses. They also must have served at least 90 days of active duty, excluding training, in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, Ohio National Guard or the reserves.

Persian Gulf-era bonuses require service sometime from Aug. 2, 1990, through March 3, 1991. The Iraq-era time is March 19, 2003, through Dec. 31, 2011, with a Dec. 31, 2014, application deadline. The Afghanistan eligibility period covers Oct. 7, 2001, to an end time yet to be determined until the conflictís official conclusion.

Bonuses are open to all eligible Ohio veterans for the compensated periods, regardless of where they served, though those serving in specified war zones would receive higher ones. Family members of those killed in action or who died from injuries or disease resulting from service in specified war zones could receive up to $6,500.

Army veteran Matt Jones, 31, of Hamilton, Butler County, says his bonus for serving in Iraq was a big help in paying bills and wants other veterans to know it can only help.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
Air Force photograph

AF holds 50th anniversary Vietnam War commemoration ceremony

Air Force photograph F-105 crews played a key role in Operation Rolling Thunder. During this three-year Vietnam War campaign, Air Force, Marine and Navy aircraft bombed targets throughout North Vietnam. U.S. and Australian wars...
 
 

Airmen missing from WWII accounted for

The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency announced Feb. 23, that the remains of U.S. servicemen, missing in action from World War II, have been accounted for and are being returned to their families for burial with full military honors. Army Air Forces 1st Lts. William D. Bernier of Augusta, Mont.; Bryant E. Poulsen of Salt Lake...
 
 

President signs Clay Hunt Act, says ‘Stigma has to end’

President Barack Obama Feb. 12 signed into law the Clay Hunt Suicide Prevention for American Veterans Act, or SAV Act. The act is aimed at reducing military and veteran suicides and improving their access to quality mental health care. Hunt was a decorated Marine veteran who struggled with post-traumatic stress. He deployed to Iraq and...
 

 

Survivor of USS Arizona from Pearl Harbor attack dies at 100

YUBA CITY, Calif. – The oldest living crew member of the battleship USS Arizona to have survived the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor has died in Northern California at the age of 100. Retired Navy Lt. Cmdr. Joseph Langdell died Feb. 4 at a nursing home in Yuba City, according to his son, Ted Langdell....
 
 
Photograph by Diane Betzler

Edwards Airmen celebrate Super Bowl with local retired veterans

Photograph by Diane Betzler Life is good: Retired veterans and residents of the William J. “Pete” Knight Veterans’ Home enjoy watching the Super Bowl, eating a delicious steak dinner and swapping war stories with members ...
 
 

Reunions – February thru April, 2015

374th Field Maint Sqdn., PACAF Feb. 13-14; Biloxi, Miss. For more information, contact Larry Voss at (218) 410-2192 or email levs.22@hotmail.com. 11th Abn/Air Assault Div Mid-Atlantic Chapter, and 187th RCT Feb. 21-25; Myrtle Beach, S.C. For more information, contact Artie Heape at (843) 846-4693 or email artieheape@centurylink.net. Seabees in Ireland & Scotland, NMCB 62 Feb....
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>