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Kauai Veterans Corner for Monday, August 12, 2013

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Posted: Monday, August 12, 2013 12:15 am

Here is news you can use for the month of August:

Outreach team

The Kauai CBOC conducts weekly outreach sessions on the North Shore and Westside of the island. Veterans who are not currently using the VA for medical or mental health services are encouraged to stop by and check out what the VA can do to help you.

Veterans are asked to bring a legible copy of their military discharge paper unless they are already enrolled with VA. However, if you cannot locate your discharge papers, the outreach team can help you obtain these documents. Dates, times and locations are:

• 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Monday at Kilauea Parish Hall of Christ Memorial Church

• 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., Wednesday at Hanapepe United Church of Christ

• 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., Thursday at Hanalei Community Center

• 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., Friday at Kekaha Westside Christian Center

Info: 246-0497 ext. 2561.

Anger Mastery classes

The Kauai Vet Center, located on Kuhio Highway near Fish Express, invites all Veterans to attend their weekly series of Anger Mastery classes conducted from 11 a.m. to noon each Tuesday.Info: Romy Castillo, 246-1163.

Changes in GI Bill benefits

Beginning Aug. 1, all active duty personnel who desire to transfer Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits to a family member will be required to serve in uniform an additional four years, regardless of the years already served.

Transferability is only available to active duty members. If a service member transferred the benefit and voluntarily leaves the military prior to completing the four additional years of service, the individual may be required to pay back those benefits. However, the requirement may be waived, if the service member is involuntarily separated.

To apply to transfer the benefit, service members should first contact the Department of Veterans Affairs to establish their eligibility and then submit a transferability application. For more information, visit: gibill.va.gov.

VRAP application deadline extended

Get a second chance to learn a new trade or skill under the VA’s and DOL’s Veterans Retraining Assistance Program (VRAP).  This program offers up to 12 months of Montgomery GI Bill benefits ($1564 per month). To be eligible, you must:

• Be at least 35 but no more than 60 years old

• Be unemployed (as determined by Department of Labor)

• Not have a dishonorable discharge

• Not be eligible for any other VA education benefit program

• Not be drawing VA compensation due to unemployability

• Not be enrolled in a federal or state job training program

Here’s what you should know about the new VRAP before you apply:

• This benefit can only be used to earn an associate degree, non-college degree, or a certificate in a high demand occupation.

• More than 86,000 veterans have been approved for this program since July 2012.

• Once completed, the Department of Labor provides employment assistance

For more information visit benefits.va.gov/vow/education.htm.

• Sgt. Maj. Tony Elliott USMC (Ret) is a member of the Hawaii Office of Veterans Services on Kauai.

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