What is a War Veteran?
A war veteran is any GI (Government Issue) ordered to foreign soil or waters to participate in direct or support activity against an enemy.
What is a Combat Veteran?
A combat veteran is any GI who experiences any level of hostility for any duration resulting from offensive, defensive or friendly fire military action involving a real or perceived enemy in any pre- or post-designated theater of combat (war) operations.
- Veteran’s benefits are based on Congressional regulations determined by Honorable Discharge or Under Honorable Conditions status.
- Retirees (either 20+ years service or medical discharge status) are also Veterans. Retirees are usually eligible for supplementary federal benefits, privileges and access on military installations, but not necessarily all VA services (some services are maintained by the former military branch), as regulated by Congress.
- Wartime medals define various levels of individual combat involvement, sacrifice and/or valor.
- (Ret.) or (Retired) may be used by any veteran when stating or publishing his or her rank to indicate they are not on the active list.
VA Mobile Medical Van
- First Wednesday of the month: 10:00 am-3:00 pm at the Salinas One Stop Center
- Last Wednesday of the month: 10:00 am-3:00 pm at the King City Agricultural Commission Complex
- First Tuesday of the month: 1:00 pm-5:00 pm at the Hollister Veterans Memorial Building
Contact the VA
Telephone Care (800) 455-0057 VAPAHCS (650) 493-5000 VA Benefits (800) 827-1000 Suicide Lifeline (800) 273-8255 Billing Inquiries (866) 347-2353 Women's Clinic (888) 443-7182 ACT Addiction (866) 717-1978 HVRP-Homeless (800) 848-7254 Pharmacy (800) 311-2511
The local VA office can help with many services click here for more information.
For a comprehensive listing of Veteran services:
Employment for Veterans
Army’s Army Career and Alumni Program webpage for employers interested in hiring transitioning soldiers (https://www.acap.army.mil/). It allows employers who join the network to find the type of talents they need for their companies.
“Marine For Life” (http://usmc-mccs.org/services/career/marine-for-life-network/). You’ll see a button at the bottom right corner that says “Employ a Marine” which will allow potential employers to provide contact information, after which the Marine Corps will engage to get more information and look to connect the employer with interested candidates.
DoD’s transition assistance website (https://www.dodtap.mil/) has an employer hub that provides access to links that might also be helpful.
Resources for Iraq/Afghanistan Veterans:
Support Your Vet – A veteran’s experiences in Iraq and Afghanistan are unimaginable, and returning home isn’t always easy. As a family member or friend of a veteran, you have the power to help, but knowing where to start can be difficult.
VA Family Caregiver Program – VA now provides additional support to eligible post-9/11 Veterans who elect to receive their care in a home setting from a primary Family Caregiver. Eligible primary Family Caregivers can receive a stipend, training, mental health services, and access to health insurance if they are not already under a health care plan.
For Veterans, Active Military, and Family Member Services:
Military OneSource is provided by the Department of Defense at no cost to active duty, Guard and Reserve (regardless of activation status) and their families. It is a virtual extension of installation services. Visit Military One Source online today or call 1-800-342-9647.
Military Pathways – This is a free, voluntary, anonymous mental health and alcohol education screening program offered to military personnel and their families in all branches, including the National Guard and Reserve. The self-assessments are a series of questions that, when linked together, help create a picture of how an individual is feeling and whether they could benefit from further evaluation or treatment. The assessments are available online, over the phone, and at special events.
Addiction Resource - Provides resources to help veterans and their loved ones so that they may stay on the road to recovery and successfully overcome addiction for life.
Ultimate Guide to Veterans Benefits - Free online guide with information about benefits such as, health benefits, pension programs, counseling services, that veterans can receive.
Help for Veterans - Comprehensive online database with information about financial assistance, housing, employment and education, benefits, and injury compensation.
Tax Guide for Veterans - In-depth tax guide that is designed specifically for veterans to help them recognize the benefits they receive in order to take advantage the maximum returns when filing income taxes.
Mesothelioma Veterans Center - Provides information and assistance to veterans regarding treatment, clinical trials, and VA benefits for veterans suffering from asbestos illnesses due to exposure in the military.
Mesothelimoa Trust Funds - Helping veterans and families get through asbestos and mesothelioma trust funds.
Mesothelioma Guide provides up-to-date information about living with mesothelioma, top doctors, treatment options, and more.”
Virtual Family Readiness Program (vFRG) – Assists Service and Family Members in maintaining readiness by developing, coordinating, and delivering services which promotes self-reliance, resilience, and stability during war and peace. Provides a wide range of services designed to assist the unit in maintaining a high state of readiness for deployment at any time. The virtual FRG site (vFRG) promotes a community feeling within units by providing a place that is customized to the unit and contains content that is controlled by the unit.
National Resource Directory (NRD) - Contains resources from federal, state, and local government agencies; Veteran and military service organizations; non-profit and community-based organizations; academic institutions and professional associations that provide assistance to wounded warriors and their families. Resources cover Education, Homelessness, Cargiving, Transportation and much more visit their website for more info.
MyVA Communities: Brings together local resources and advocates to improve outcomes for Veterans, transitioning Service members, and their families; Enables veterans to easily identify and reach resources available to them, voice their opinions, and provide valuable input; Resolves conerns at the local level and improves service delivery methods.
To see if your state has a MyVA Community, visit their website.
Guide to Affordable Car Insurance: Online guide that helps veterans find affordable car insurance options that are specific to the laws and regulations in California.
Guide to Housing Benefits for Veterans: Online resource that explains a variety of housing benefits to eligible veterans and service members.
A Path to Homeownership:Guide that is a starting point for buyers who want to own a home but lack the cash to do so in a conventional way.
Guide to VA Loans: Online information source, for veterans, active-duty service members or a spouse of a veteran or service member, about benefits from the home loan program insured by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)
MoneyGeek-Smarter Financial Decisions: Offering explanations on a variety money topics in an easy to understand format.
Servicemember's Guide to Financial Scams: Online guide to educate about common scams and dishonest lending aimed at servicemembers and veterans.
Military Move & Relocation Guide: Information source related to moving and relocation for military families.
Dealhack Military Discount Guide is a quarterly survey of brands that offer active military and veteran discounts. Stores independently verified.
Information about military transcripts and how to request the transcripts is available from each branch of the military.
- Army (AARTS transcript)
- Navy & Marine Corps (Joint Service Transcript/Formerly SMART)
- Air Force (CCAF Transcript)
- Coast Guard (CGI Transcript)
ACE Military Guide
The ACE (American Council on Education) Military Guide (Guide to Evaluation of Educational Experiences in the Armed Services) is available online here.