How do I get another copy of my DD-214?
The easiest way to order a copy of your military records is to go the website for the National Archives. These folks also have a video on YouTube showing you how it's done.
I've had a lot of bad experiences dealing with the V.A. Where else can I talk to someone about veteran benefits and resources?
If you have already had some difficulty working with the V.A., you might try working with your local vet center or the County Veteran Services Officer for your county. Many veterans learn ways to ask for help from the V.A. through local chapters of the VFW, PVA, and PVA. Some of these congressionally-chartered veteran service organizations also have personnel who are trained and experienced in working on behalf of veterans to appeal a disability claim or other difficult cases. The important thing to remember is that there are many organizations where veterans can go, even if they have had a bad experience with the V.A.
What is the difference between the V.A. and CalVet?
The Veterans Administration is a federal organization that oversees the healthcare of veterans, the processing of paperwork for veterans, and death and burial services. CalVet is a state-funded program that assists veterans in working with the V.A. while offering additional and unique benefits provided by the State of California.
Where can I go to search for jobs?
The real question is "Where else can I go to search for jobs?" CalVet and the V.A. offer many resources, in addition to county offices for the V.A., One-Stop-Career Center sites, and career fairs. Librarians who are helping a veteran with career research should keep in touch with the County Veteran Services Officer to learn about the latest career fairs and resources. EDD also offers a list of One-Stop-Career Centers throughout every county in California.
I want to revise my resume, but I need help. Who can help me with my resume?
Each library has unique programs for help with resume-writing. Librarians should learn about specific programs available to veterans by talking to the County Veteran Services Officer. Grantee libraries also offer Chromebooks that veterans can use for working on a resume or searching for a job.
I'm not sure if I'm really a veteran. Who do I ask?
If you have served in the military for any length of time, you should register with CalVet. No one in a public library has the authority to tell you that you are not a veteran. We prefer to ask if you have served in the military. If so, then you have the right to speak to a CalVet representative and learn about your benefits. In most cases, if you have served in the military for at least six months, then you are a veteran, even if you have never seen combat or been deployed.
I've always wanted to know about that benefit for buying a house. Where do I start? How does it work?
The best place to start is by registering with CalVet. Because the State of California also offers benefits for veterans who want to own a home, CalVet representatives are prepared to talk to you about home ownership with support from the V.A. and CalVet. Also, it is a myth that you can use the veterans' home loan benefit only once. It might be possible for a veteran to use this benefit more than once in his/her lifetime.
Is it true that I can get healthcare at any V.A. hospital, regardless of my income?
If you have served in the military, you can learn about your medical benefits through the membership office at the Veteran's Hospital or by registering with CalVet. Some veterans use their veteran's healthcare benefits to augment their health insurance, even when they are already employed or have health insurance elsewhere. The V.A. uses a rating system to determine the cost of healthcare, and the rating system might change from year to year. Learn more by contacting a CalVet representative.
I talked to my V.A. doctor, and he told me that I need to go to another facility for some tests. He told me that the transportation is provided for free by the V.A. Where do I find out about that?
Ideally, you can learn about free transportation for veterans from your library! You can also contact the nearest veteran's hospital. When you call their information desk, they can transfer you to an office that arranges for transportation for patients. Some cities offer additional transportation benefits for veterans. Learn more from the reference desk at your library.
I'm not interested in asking for money or help. But I am interested in talking to other veterans. Where can I find places to hang out with people like me?
A CalVet representative can talk to you about the many organizations throughout California that coordinate events for veterans, in addition to veteran museums where many veterans volunteer their time and have an opportunity to meet other veterans. You can also ask your CalVet representative about the nearest vet center, county veteran services officer, or other organizations in your area. Librarians can learn about congressionally-certified veteran service organizations (VSOs) by searching the National Resource Directory online.
My spouse keeps bugging me about asking for help for my PTSD or depression. Who can I talk to?
You can call 1-800-273-8255 to speak with someone now. You can also visit the website for the Veterans Crisis Line. The website provides a chat line, text numbers, and resources for veterans and family members to learn more about mental health issues. The V.A. has also published video testimonials from other veterans at Make the Connection. This site includes a searchable video gallery of testimonials from veterans of all ages and backgrounds.
California Veterans Resource Book (PDF File)
CalVet Veteran Services
Federal VA Education Benefits
©2017 Veterans Connect @ the Library. All rights reserved. This project is supported in whole or in part by the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act, administered in California by the State Librarian. The opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect the position or policy of the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services or the California State Library, and no official endorsement by the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services or the California State Library should be inferred.