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What Makes Someone a Veteran?

Discussion in 'Legal' started by HABU, Feb 10, 2004.

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  1. HABU

    HABU Member

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    My partner at work and I are having a disagreement about what gives someone veteran status. He thinks that military service makes a veteran. I say that someone needs to be in a combat zone to be a veteran. He asked how people got VA loans and education and medical care if they weren't considered veterans. I replied that prior service falls under the VA umbrella for these benefits.

    So, is there an official position on what makes one a veteran? What are your thoughts?
     
  2. TarpleyG

    TarpleyG Member

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    A veteran is someone that has completed their obligatory military service. Combat or not.

    GT
     
  3. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Member

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    When I went active duty in 1969, a veteran was someone who served at least 180 days active duty and was discharged with some sort of qualifying discharge. People who washed out of basic training were not veterans.

    Pilgrim
     
  4. 4v50 Gary

    4v50 Gary Moderator Staff Member

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    Service in the Army, Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps & Coast Guard qualifies one as a veteran.

    BTW, I think Veterans of Foreign War admits only those who served overseas during time of conflict. American Legion on the other hand doesn't make that distinction. VFWers & Legionnaires, correct me please if I'm wrong.
     
  5. HABU

    HABU Member

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    Blast! Looks like I am off base on this issue. I distinctly remember 20 years ago when one of my DI's instructed us that you were not a veteran until the first round went downrange.

    Thanks for the clarification.

    Could all four of us be wrong?:neener:
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2004
  6. HunterGatherer

    HunterGatherer member

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    What they said.

    I don't know of any military vets that don't hold combat vets in higher esteem though. And that is as it should be.

    But consider this. A nurse doesn't get a Combat Infantry Badge. And yet she may have helped save several thousand lives while wearing a giant olive drab target on her back everyday. Chances are she has seen things that would make me hurl chunks, and yet she carried on. Is she not a vet? In my book she is.
     
  7. Ala Dan

    Ala Dan Member in memoriam

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    As I understand it, The Veterans Affairs Administration*
    deems that if a person spends one day of honorable
    service in any branch of the military; then that does
    qualify them as a veteran, and entitles them to benefits.

    *Resource - from this book:

    Stolen Valor by B.G. Burkett & Glenna Whitley

    How The Viet-Nam Generation Was Robbed Of Its Hero's And Its History

    Best Wishes,
    Ala Dan, N.R.A. Life Member
     
  8. HunterGatherer

    HunterGatherer member

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    V.F.W qualifications here: http://www.vfw.org/index.cfm?fa=mbr.levele&eid=188

    American Legion:

    June 11, 2003- INET
    Please return completed application to:
    The American Legion
    Attn: Membership
    P.O. Box 7017
    Indianapolis, IN 46207
    AMERICAN LEGION
    MEMBERSHIP APPLICATION D26NET
    YES! I’ll help my fellow veterans by becoming a member of The American Legion. I certify that I served at least
    one day of active military duty during the dates marked below and was honorably discharged or am still serving honorably.
    Please send me my current membership card and my free "Branch of Service" label pin.
    Please check method of payment :
    my $20.00 check or money order enclosed
    Name _______________________________________________________________
    Address ____________________________________________________________
    City, State, Zip ___________________________________________________
    Phone Number ____________________________________________________
    Signature __________________________________________________________
    Mastercard VISA
    ACCOUNT NUMBER
    ••••••••••••••••
    EXPIRATION DATE •• -••
    Dates of Service Branch of Service
    U.S. MERCHANT MARINE — DEC. 7, 1941—AUG. 15, 1945
    U.S. ARMY
    U.S. NAVY
    U.S. AIR FORCE
    U.S. MARINES
    U.S. COAST GUARD
    AUG 2, 1990—OPEN
    DEC. 20, 1989—JAN. 31, 1990
    AUG. 24, 1982—JUL. 31, 1984
    FEB. 28, 1961—MAY 7, 1975
    JUNE 25, 1950—JAN. 31, 1955
    DEC. 7, 1941—DEC. 31, 1946
    APR. 6, 1917—NOV. 11, 1918
    Please tell us how/where you heard about The American Legion:
    __________________________________________________________
    __________________________________________________________
    Birth Date - -
    Please check applicable "Dates of Service" and
    "Branch of Service":
    Bill my credit card for $20.00
    (See box at right)
     
  9. mrapathy2000

    mrapathy2000 member

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    she would be a veteran nurse though.
    ---------------------------------------
    Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913) [web1913]
    Veteran \Vet"er*an\, a. [L. veteranus, from vetus, veteris, old;
    akin to Gr. ? year, Skr. vatsara. See Wether.]
    Long exercised in anything, especially in military life and
    the duties of a soldier; long practiced or experienced; as, a
    veteran officer or soldier; veteran skill.

    One who has been long exercised in any service or art,
    particularly in war

    Note: In the United States, during the civil war, soldiers
    who had served through one term of enlistment and had
    re["e]nlisted were specifically designated veterans.

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
    many people can be veterans. veteran mailman has not necesarily been to war or served. but has been a mailman for a long time.

    think somewhere along the lines someone has generalized words too much. words can lose theyre meanings if people are not carefull. of coarse we do have those that are trying to reword,remean and rewrite everything.
     
  10. Jeff White

    Jeff White Moderator Staff Member

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    Ala Dan said;
    That is incorrect. You must serve at least 180 consecutive days on active duty in any branch of the military under Title 10 US Code. Active duty for training under Title 32 does not qualify one for veterans benefits. There are some exceptions, i.e. service connected disability dischage prior to the 180 days etc. There are different levels of benefits based on the status one served under. All of this is spelled out in federal law.

    I can't belive the authors of Stolen valor got that wrong. Yes, it is possible for a person who only served one day to be eligable for benefits, but that person would have had to have been injured in the line of duty to the point he was permanently disqualified from serving on that one day.

    Jeff
     
  11. 444

    444 Member

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    " Is she not a vet?"
    Yes, she is a vet, if she served in the military for the required period of time (I seem to remember the 180 day number myself). I assume that if she was serving in a combat theatre she would meet the qualification.
    That doesn't however mean she is entitled to a CIB unless she met the requirements. She may have been the greatest, most dedicated nurse in world history, but she wasn't a combat infantryman.
     
  12. schromf

    schromf Member

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    2 other uniformed services

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration hereinafter referred to as NOAA, and Public Health Service are both uniformed services, They are also considered Vets, cut from eligibility requirements:

    a. Acceptable Evidence. Consider only the following documentary evidence of qualifying service, submitted after separation from service, as adequate evidence of service for eligibility determinations:

    (1) The original (copy 1) of the forms listed below. If the original is received, photocopy it, authenticate it as a copy of the original document and return the document to the veteran.

    (a) PHS Form 1867 (furnished by the Public Health Service).

    (b) NOAA Form 56-16 (furnished by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration).

    (2) Any carbon copy of the original DD Form 214, Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty. Apply the following procedure to copies of the DD Form 214:
     
  13. Ala Dan

    Ala Dan Member in memoriam

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    Many thanks Jeff; as I stand corrected. I will do
    further research in my copy of Stolen Valor, to
    make sure I didn't mis-quote the author's!

    Best Wishes,
    Ala Dan, N.R.A. Life Member
     
  14. Boats

    Boats member

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    If anyone thinks the "peacetime" military can't be a dangerous way to make a living, I could easily find the families of some deceased or maimed sailors from the time I served who'd tell you otherwise. Some of those "peacetimers" some have less respect for have even been shot at on occassion.

    I was in the Persian Gulf twice before everyone and their Humvee ever got to enjoy the place. We dodged magnetic mines, boarded suspicious ships, looked out for Silkworm missile launches while escorting Kuwati tankers, watched for Iraqi planes armed with Exocets lest we become the next USS Stark, did poison gas drills, shot it out with Iranian fanatics on motorboats, shot up Iraninan offshore oil rigs, served alongside a ship and crew that hairtriggered an Iranian airbus into the Gulf and then repatriated body parts, and this was atop all the normally dangerous underway replenishing and helo ops in all weather and light conditions.

    Yet the VFW and the Legion don't recognize active service between 1985 and 1989 as anything worth noting.:rolleyes:
     
  15. MeekandMild

    MeekandMild Member

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    Boats, there is a lot to be said for being a peacetime vet or a noncombatant vet. When I was going to school to be qualified for my noncombatant duty I remember the wall there devoted to lists of the 'killed in the line of duty' members of my specialty. Creepy. Plus the Air Force custom of naming bases, streets and buildings after dead flyers. Really creepy.

    I would be the first to say that combat vets deserve special honor because they went above and beyond the call of duty, but to be a REMF still takes more dedication and work than civilians know.

    A few for instances:

    In Viet Nam the number one most dangerous Air Force enlisted job was the medical corpsmen who picked up downed flyers.

    The training death rate for pilots in primary flight school and final training school has held steady, about 1.5% since WWII regardless of war or peace. Nothing like the 80% casualty rates of some WWII and Viet Nam War squadrons, but 1.5% is still pretty high initiation fee for just learning a trade.

    During the 50's and 60's one of the roles for the Air National Guard was to prepare for one way intercept missions against Soviet strategic bombers. Even though the cold war never exploded it could have on numerous occasions; pilots never knew when their routine patrol would turn into a one way flight.
     
  16. Bob R

    Bob R Member

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    Never Mind...... PM sent.

    bob
     
  17. Ala Dan

    Ala Dan Member in memoriam

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    Att: Jeff White (moderator)

    To aid my fellow countryman and make facts perfectly
    clear, I did further research on my previous quotation
    from the book: Stolen Valor by Burkett & Whitley.

    May I direct your undivided attention to page 246
    of this book, and train your eyes to sub-section:

    Military Records and the VA

    lines 5, 6, & 7 of sub topic states-

    *FootNote- text copied straight from the book as published by:

    Verity Press, Inc.
    PO Box 50366
    Dallas, TX 75250
    www.stolenvalor.com

    Best Wishes,
    Ala Dan, N.R.A. Life Member
     
  18. Bill Hook

    Bill Hook member

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    How is it NOAA and PHS get veterans benefits?

    The CIA should get the same, since they run many covert wars and get killed in the line of duty overseas, such as those recently killed in Afghanistan.
     
  19. Jeff White

    Jeff White Moderator Staff Member

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    Ala Dan,

    Thanks....I hoped that they had gotten it right. It would have taken some credibility from their otherwise excellent work in my eyes...
    Stay Safe
    Jeff
     
  20. schromf

    schromf Member

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    They are both uniformed services, The NOAA Corps is real small, on the order of around 300ish, they are also on the same pay scale as the military. They have a small fleet, and at least one of their ships was in the first Gulf war, other assignments are the South Pole, fishery enforcement in Alaska coastal waters, Austrailia, there pilots are the ones that fly into hurricanes. They were uniforms very similar to Navy uniforms.

    I am less knowledgable on the PHS, I do know that the Office of the Surgeon General falls under this. Remember Edward Koop the Surgeon General? Anyway I think there are about 6000 in this, again they are uniformed service, and I think professional doctors working for military payscales ( novel idea huh? ). I provided a link below to the offical site, but a Vice Admiral runs it and is appointed by the president. Link:

    http://www.surgeongeneral.gov/sgoffice.htm

    The CIA who definatly go into harms way are on a seperate pay scale and retirement system ( or have been in post OSS days ). I don't think they would want to be paid military wages, or give up the 15 year retirement plan that active agents work under. Their compensation packages are much better than the military and veterans benefits. Another agency with very similiar system is the National Security Agency (NSA). The FBI, US Marshals, BTF, Secret Service are all federal jobs that are front line dangerous jobs in federal service, but none of these are " Uniformed Services" and the payscales, retirement, and benefit packages are much different. It doesn't in any way detract from the valuable and often hazardous jobs these folks do, but they are not structered as a Uniform Service
     
  21. schromf

    schromf Member

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    forgot some

    Both NOAA and the PHS are similar to the Army Corps of Engineers, only they are separate branches. NOAA does fishery enforcement Alaska waters and do things like boarding Russian fishing trollers in very lightly armed ships.

    I think the PHS work in conjunction the Center for Disease Control and do fun things like make trips to China when the SARS virus breaks out.

    There are a lot of ways to die in service of your country, just not all by bullets, and I am sure the PHS people that do that kind of work take some very serious risks. I for one would prefer a soldiers death than to catching some kind of fatal disease I caught in a foriegn country while I was attempting to check its spread to the United States.

    Just My $.02
     
  22. HunterGatherer

    HunterGatherer member

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    Not only did I not say she was, but I cannot for the life of me figure out how anyone would infer that she should.
     
  23. HunterGatherer

    HunterGatherer member

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    And their capitalization, their apostrophes (even though that would be the wrong their), and their proper spelling. Oh well.
     
  24. Andrew Rothman

    Andrew Rothman Member

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    Do you mean C. Everett Koop, M.D., former Surgeon General of the United States?
     
  25. Gillster

    Gillster Member

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    The PHS is comprised entirely of officers such as MD's and RN's. They are a fairly small uniformed service and one of their big areas is Indian Affairs. They provide medical care on indian reservations as well as other areas, usually in the areas of public health. As a lot of vets can call themselves that because of nurses and medics, I think they (we) deserve the title as well.


    Chris
     
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