Veterans of the United States armed forces may be eligible for a broad range of benefits and services provided by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), and their state Offices of Veterans Affairs. Some of these benefits may be utilized while on active duty. These benefits are codified in Title 38 of the United States Code.
Eligibility for most VA benefits is based upon discharge from active military service under other than dishonorable conditions. Active service means full-time service, other than active duty for training, as a member of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, or as a commissioned officer of the Public Health Service, Environmental Science Services Administration or National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or its predecessor, the Coast and Geodetic Survey.
Dishonorable and bad conduct discharges issued by general courts-martial may bar VA benefits. Veterans in prison must contact VA to determine eligibility. VA benefits will not be provided to any Veteran or dependent wanted for an outstanding felony warrant.
Certain VA Benefits Require Wartime Service: under the law, VA recognizes these periods of war:
Veterans seeking a VA benefit for the first time must submit a copy of their service discharge form (DD-214, DD-215, or for World War II Veterans, a WD form), which documents service dates and type of discharge, or provides full name, military service number, and branch and dates of service.
The Veteran's service discharge form should be kept in a safe location accessible to the Veteran and next of kin or designated representative.
The following documents will be needed for claims processing related to a Veteran's death:
eBenefits is a joint VA/Department of Defense (DoD) Web portal that provides resources and self-service capabilities to Servicemembers, Veterans, and their families to apply, research, access, and manage their VA and military benefits and personal information through a secure Internet connection.
Through eBenefits Veterans can: apply for benefits, view their disability compensation claim status, access official military personnel documents (e.g., DD Form 214, Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty), transfer entitlement of Post-9/11 GI Bill to eligible dependents (Servicemembers only), obtain a VA-guaranteed home loan Certificate of Eligibility, and register for and update direct deposit information for certain benefits. New features are added regularly.
Office of Veterans Affairs
In 2009, Mr. Verdie Bowen was appointed as Director of the Office of Veterans Affairs by former Governor Sarah Palin. As Director, Mr. Bowen is responsible for the development and establishment of polices and strategic plans that directly affect over 230,000 Alaskans including all Alaska veterans, active duty, reserve components, dependents, and survivors living in the states 348 communities. Recently, Mr. Bowen served nationally as the 70th President of the National Association of State Directors of Veterans Affairs. In this position he provided key testimony for five major pieces of legislation; the most critical being the Veterans Affairs (VA) Modernization Act of 2017 and the VA Mission Act of 2018.
Since his appointment, Mr. Bowen has traveled to over 265 communities in Alaska. He has provided critical testimony to the US Senate on rural healthcare and helped as a member of the 13th working group to facilitate the establishment of a memorandum of agreement between Alaska Tribal Health Agencies and the Federal VA allowing veterans to receive healthcare in villages all across Alaska. Mr. Bowen served on the Department of Veterans Affairs Rural Health Advisory committee from 2013 to 2017. He has also provided guidance and testimony to the Alaska State Legislator on several local veteran’s issues. To date he has provided guidance on the following passed legislation:
Currently he is working on the development of a new state veteran's cemetery in Fairbanks and the establishment of a DoD/VA/Alaskan software platform assisting veterans with earned benefits.
As a 23-year veteran of the U.S. Air Force, Mr. Bowen began his military career in 1981 serving in several units as a Communications Specialist. His major assignments included the following units:
During his service, he supported the research and development of long-range communications pertaining to the Global Positioning System (GPS) and the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI). He managed the deployment of the Defense Mediterranean Improvement Satellite Program. He installed the first Alaskan bandwidth management network. Finally, he designed and installed UN and NATO telephone systems connecting commercial air traffic control towers in the old Czech Republic which allowed commercial air traffic back into this theater of operations.
Mr. Bowen holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Information Systems from Bellevue University in Nebraska. He is married to Catherine Bowen and they have four sons and four grandchildren.
(Current as of December 2018)
4600 DeBarr Rd., Suite 180
Anchorage AK 99508