Chief Pontiac Post 377

Veteran Readiness and Employment - If you have a service-connected disability that limits your ability to work or prevents you from working, Veteran Readiness and Employment can help you explore employment options and address training needs. In some cases, your family members may also qualify for certain benefits. https://www.va.gov/careers-employment/vocational-rehabilitation/

Veteran Employment Through Technology Education Courses (VET TEC) for Training Providers is a new, innovative five-year pilot program that pairs participating Veterans and eligible Service members with industry-leading Training Providers to help participants acquire new skills to enter the job market or enhance their business acumen. The ultimate goal is to give Veterans the high-tech skills sought by today’s top employers so they can acquire meaningful employment.  VET TEC Training Providers will have access to a large group of students who are motivated, hard-working, and bright team players. https://www.va.gov/education/about-gi-bill-benefits/how-to-use-benefits/vettec-high-tech-program/

Michigan ranks 44th out of 53 U.S. states and territories for the percentage of veterans connected to disability compensation through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). Just 21% of Michigan’s 552,412 veterans get some level of VA disability benefits, which is below the national average of 25%.  Contact the Commander if you need assistance in filing claims.

Eisenhower's Veterans Reintegration Center (VRC) is accepting applications for the first female Veterans Relocation, Rehabilitation & Reintegration cohort located on Selfridge ANGB in Harrison Township, Michigan. Link to apply:  https://hipaa.jotform.com/210656170988161, or contact the post at chiefpontiac377@gmail.com.

Vietnam Vets and Caregivers - Changes are happening with Agent Orange presumptive conditions.  Ensure you are informed because it could affect you and your benefits.

Gulf War Vets - Slow progress on recognition of medical conditions associated with burn pits but awareness is growing in Congress.  If you've not yet registered with the Burn Pit registry, you should consider it.  

VA extends presumptive period for Persian Gulf War Veterans

WASHINGTON — The Department of Veterans Affairs has extended the presumptive period to Dec. 31, 2026 for qualifying chronic disabilities rated 10% or more resulting from undiagnosed illnesses in Persian Gulf War Veterans to ensure benefits established by Congress are fairly administered.

If an extension of the current presumptive period was not implemented, service members whose conditions arise after Dec. 31, 2021 would be substantially disadvantaged compared to service members whose conditions manifested at an earlier date.

Limiting entitlement to benefits due to the expiration of the presumptive period would be premature given that current studies remain inconclusive as to the cause and time of onset of illnesses suffered by Persian Gulf War Veterans.

VA presumes certain medically unexplained illnesses are related to Persian Gulf War service without regard to cause, including, chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, functional gastrointestinal disorders. Also included are undiagnosed illnesses with symptoms that may include but are not limited to abnormal weight loss, cardiovascular disease, muscle and joint pain, headache, menstrual disorders, neurological and psychological problems, skin conditions, respiratory disorders and sleep disturbances.

Persian Gulf War Veterans who are experiencing any of the symptoms listed above and other unexplained medical issues are encouraged to file a claim.

Oakland County Parks Annual Vehicle Pass for Veterans - Since 2020, Oakland County veterans may obtain a free Annual Vehicle Permit (AVP) to Oakland County  parks.  There is a mail in application online, but the free permits are not available through the online system.  One has to either mail in an application with proof of free eligibility or appear at one of the locations where permits are sold.  https://www.oakgov.com/parks/shop/Pages/Free-AVP.aspx

Free Microsoft Training:  The Microsoft Software & Systems Academy (MSSA) is offering free Veteran training to military and Veteran community. This free, formal training takes place in some of the technology industry’s most in-demand roles. Courses and professional networking are offered online, and students can access developed comprehensive learning paths for careers as cloud application developers and server and cloud administrators.  To get started, email MSSAOPS@Microsoft.com for an invite to attend one of the weekly information sessions.

Veteran Volunteer Opportunity:  The MVAA is sponsoring a Buddy to Buddy Veteran Mentorship Initiative, supporting service members and veterans of all eras in Michigan in linking them to resources that address a variety of issues. This initiative requires a group of volunteers that are passionate about veteran advocacy and can provide one-on-one mentorship. MVAA will provide training on veteran resources and best practices to better troubleshoot a variety of issues from transportation to accessing federal benefits. https://www.michiganveterans.com/p/Buddy-to-Buddy-Volunteer-Mentorship-Program