Military and Veterans

This page has a list of resources that are available across the nation. Additionally, there are four states that we have more in-depth information on: NJ, NY, PA, and TN. The National and NJ pages were updates by Rivka Herson in February, 2020, and she created the NY, PA, and TN pages.

National Resources:

The United States Veterans Administration – Regardless of their recent track record, the VA has been providing services to veterans for a long time. All veterans should apply for services and help here before looking to other sources. So many of the people who work at the VA care deeply for those that they serve.

Steven A. Cohen Military Family Clinic – On August 8, 2017, I toured the Steven A. Cohen Military Family Clinic in Philadelphia. It is located on the University of Pennsylvania campus, just west of Center City. There are other clinics in NYC, San Antonio, Dallas, El Paso, and Fayetville, NC. There are several more slated to open within the next year. Steven A. Cohen was born in New York. He went to Wharton and made his money on Wall Street. The 2017 estimate of his wealth is around $13B. His son served in Afghanistan. Mr. Cohen and his wife established the Cohen Veterans Network in 2016 with an initial donation of $275M. The clinics currently provide services for veterans, reservists, and National Guard members. They also provide counseling for family members. They see people for one hour a week. If people need a higher level of care, the professionals at the clinic work tirelessly to find appropriate services. I had the pleasure of meeting with Pete Freudenberger, a social worker who earned his MSW from UPenn. He is the Outreach Manager for the Philadelphia clinic and can be reached at [email protected].

For Soldiers Leaving the Reserve or Guard: Before you sign papers, call the MEB Counsel at 706-787-2476 or 706-787-8734

Justice For Vets – Non-profit that raises money for Veterans that should go to specialized courts for Veterans. A large number (some speculate that 40%) of Veterans have either mental health and/or substance abuse disorders. Often, these disorders lead to legal entanglements.

The Military Order of the Purple Heart – “The Military Order of the Purple Heart Service Program exists to assist Veterans, ALL veterans, in working with the VA and filing claims for the many benefits that are available. You do NOT need to be a Member of the Purple Heart Organization to seek assistance. The program provides veterans’ benefits experts at various veterans administration regional offices, hospitals, vet centers, and state and county veterans facilities.”

How To Apply For the GI Bill

Wounded Warriors Project – I would avoid this group. There have been a number of scandals and mishandled finances. A real shame.

CHAMPVA – The Civilian Health and Medical Program of the Department of Veterans Affairs (CHAMPVA) is a health benefits program in which the Department of Veterans Affairs shares the cost of certain health care services and supplies with eligible beneficiaries. To be eligible for CHAMPVA, you cannot be eligible for TRICARE/CHAMPUS and you must be in one of these categories:

  • The spouse or child of a veteran who has been rated permanently and totally disabled for a service-connected disability by a VA regional office, or
  • The surviving spouse or child of a veteran who died from a VA-rated service-connected disability, or
  • The surviving spouse or child of a veteran who was at the time death rated permanently and totally disabled, or
  • The surviving spouse or child of a military member who died in the line of duty, not due to misconduct (in most of these cases, these family members are eligible for TRICARE, not CHAMPVA).

Make the Connection – This is a new site whose goal is to “connect veterans and their friends and family members with information, resources, and solutions to issues affecting their lives.”

Vets4Warriors Helpline: 1-855-838-8255. This is a helpline manned by veterans of all 4 branches. They will talk to current servicemembers and vets about a variety of issues.

Military One Source: This is a source to guide members of the military with tax services, spouse employment assistance, online training, counseling, childcare help, amongst other supports.

The American Legion: The largest wartime veterans service organization, the American Legion helps veterans obtain resources available to them, provide transitioning guidance, and job attainment.

Veterans of Foreign Wars: Like the American Legion, VFW assists veterans with post war life. However, they are a smaller organization and do not allow Merchant Marines to become members. They offer scholarships for post-secondary education, emergency financial relief, and help filing VA claims.

EMDR Certified Therapists: Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Therapy is an effective technique used to treat PTSD. In the search for EMDR certified therapists check this link as some therapists practice EMDR but are not certified.