Military Veterans Benefits

Military veterans and their family members don't always know about the benefits available to them, after coming out of the military.

The Columbia Basin Veteran's Coalition in Pasco is dedicated to helping vets find benefits best suited for them.

"I was in the hospital and I had been laid off a while back and this smiling face came in from Columbia Basin named Jose and he's like we can help you," said Dan Heintz.

Heintz, who served in the Army in South Korea in the late 70's, never so much as took a glance at veterans benefits until now.

Homeless, with no money, the Veterans Coalition is helping him by providing temporary housing to get back on his feet.

The first step is filling out a DD-214 form, that will open up a world of opportunities.

Housing benefits: transitional housing, rent assiatnce and VA home loans.

Employment Benefits: employment couseling and Worksource helps vets to find out their skills, fill out resumes, participate in mock interviews and even job placement.

The Veteran's Coalition also provides a computer lab for vets to work at.

Education benefits: G.I. Bill of Rights can cover tuition costs for college or vocational courses. It can even cover living expenses while attending school.

"When you're a veteran, that's what you do, is you stand up on your own," said Heintz. "Lately I've wanted to check it out but there's all these younger kids coming back from Iraq and Afghanistan and I think they need help a little bit more than I do."

The Veteran's Coalition said there are benefits available for vets of all ages, but less options become available the longer it has been since serving.

Medical benefits are also avaiable once a 10-10EZ form is filled out.

Medical benefits: covering costs of hospitalization, dental, medications, prosthetics, PTSD couseling and much more.

The Veteran's Coalition even provides transporation to and from doctors appointments if needed.

"We want to help them, we don't just want to send them out the door," said Joetta Rupert, Executive Director at the Columbia Basin Veteran's Coalition. "We want to make sure they're succeeding."

"They've been great, they really stepped in and they do it with a smile too," said Heintz. "It's like I'm not a job to them and that makes a big difference."

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