Nationwide, a vast number of World War II veterans are passing away each and every day. Since their discharge, many benefits associated with their passing have been increased or are newly implemented. These benefits are granted to the spouse or other surviving family members.

The Veterans Administration will pay for headstones and a partial funeral expense reimbursement. Burial plots in Veterans Cemeteries are free for the veteran and spouse. Whoever passes first can be laid to rest and the adjoining plot reserved for the spouse.

In the past, retired veterans with a service-connected disability for which they could receive monthly compensation were not allowed to collect both compensation and their retirement pay. They had to make the decision, which was economically the best in their situation. Retirement pay is taxable where there is no tax on disability compensation. Just recently, Congress passed a law allowing these veterans to collect both. The one stipulation, the disability must have come from injuries directly associated with combat.

Did you know that a new service ribbon has been created for those veterans who served in Korea from June 30, 1949, to the present? This fulfills the eligibility requirements for acceptance into the VFW, and we would like to hear from you.

It has been recently decided that if you were in Vietnam at any time, you have been exposed to Agent Orange. There is a list of cancers directly related to Agent Orange exposure. Type 2 diabetes and certain birth defects are included on that list. If you suffer from any form of cancer, type 2 diabetes or a child of yours has any birth defects, contact us immediately.

There are a multitude of revisions to the Veterans Administration's code that have recently been augmented. We plan to discuss some of these in more detail in future columns. For more information on the above topics or assistance in filling a claim, membership or any other questions you may have, contact our service officer, Ray Palmer, or myself at 665-5665.

As a reminder to our post membership, our meeting times and place have changed. We now meet at 7 p.m. the fourth Thursday of the month at the Peninsula Senior Center in Klipsan Beach. Please make plans to join us.

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