When people joins the military, one of the things they are told is that their service is appreciated. In theory, that sounds like a good deal. When it comes down to it, however, the services and benefits for veterans are often less than stellar. In many cases, no appreciation is shown to the men and women who fought for our country. A recent vote in the United States Senate highlights how little appreciation is shown to some veterans.
The Senate voted against giving certain same-sex couples benefits afforded to other same-sex couples. The issue at hand was where the same-sex couple was living. If the couple lives in a state that recognizes same-sex marriage, the veterans' family is eligible for benefits. If the couple lives in a state that doesn't recognize same-sex marriages, no benefits are afforded.
The rights of veterans shouldn't depend on where they live. The people who fought for our rights are being denied what is rightfully theirs. Families can lose survivor benefits, burial rights, pensions, education assistance, VA home loans and VA medical care simply based on their marriage type and location.
Even in the case of opposite-sex marriages, veterans sometimes have to fight for the benefits due to them. It is important for veterans to understand the qualification standards for benefits and how to apply for the benefits they qualify for. When an application is denied, the veteran may have to go through an appeal process. Knowing how to handle the process from start to finish can often make the journey a little easier.
Source: Huffington Post, "The Shameful Senate Vote That Denied Gay Veterans the Benefits They Earned," Senator Jeanne Shaheen, June 08, 2015