Veterans News
Raul Arriaga, Veterans Committee

Applications for High School Diplomas for Michigan WWII Veterans: A state law passed last year (Public Act 181 of 2001), will make eligible an honorably discharged WWII veteran for receipt of a high school diploma from the State of Michigan. To be eligible, the veteran must have attended high school in Michigan and must have served in the military between September 16, 1940 and December 31, 1946. This is just one of five requirements to meet. The application may be completed by the veteran or on his behalf, by a spouse, brother or sister, child or grandchild. A copy of the veteran's discharge papers must accompany the application. The school that the veteran enrolled in prior to serving his country will verify the dates from their own records.
Gulf War Veterans: Veterans of this war with concerns about their health - contact the nearest VA medical center. Gulf War veterans who might have questions pertaining to marital/family counseling, disability compensation, and benefit programs administered by the VA, can call the toll free number 1-800-PGW-VETS (1-800-749-8387) 
Veterans who have been diagnosed with a neuron disease (including amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or Lou Gehrig's disease) and who were on active duty between August 2, 1990, and July 31, 1991, regardless of whether they actually served in the Gulf War theater of operations (or family/friends of veterans of veterans who are deceased or otherwise unable to contact VA) - call 1-877-DIAL-ALS (1-877-342-5257) to participate in a national survey.

From National Veterans Legal Services Program: FEDERAL APPEALS COURT RULES VA MUST PAY RETROACTIVE BENEFITS TO VIETNAM VETERANS SUFFERING FROM PROSTATE CANCER AND DIABETES On April 1, 2002, in an important Agent Orange case the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit rejected the VA's appeal of the U.S. District Court's December 1999 ruling in the Nehmer case. In that case, the District Court held that all Vietnam veterans prostate cancer claimants or their survivors are entitled to retroactive benefits to the date of the first filing of their claim for service connection or survivors benefits (as long as the prostate cancer claim was not final before September 25, 1985). The court also upheld the District Court's rejection of the VA's argument that only two years of retroactive benefits were due to some survivors of deceased veterans subject to the earlier Nehmer court order. NVLSP believes that this ruling should also apply to similar VA claimants with claims on diabetes in a Vietnam veteran. The decision follows. It's unknown whether the VA will appeal this decision; however, NVLSP feels the VA's chances of success if there is an appeal are unlikely. For more details call (202) 265-8305 ext. 119.
"Law Increases Veterans' Burial Benefits" (by Department of Veterans Affairs). Under a new law (Public Law 107-103) the VA will increase reimbursement for funeral expenses and cemetery plots for service-disabled veterans and provide government markers for veterans' graves even if families already have installed private markers. Plot allowances are paid when a veteran is buried in a non-governments cemetery. Also, the veteran must meet one of the following three criteria: The veteran was eligible to receive VA disability compensation or a VA pension, was discharged from military service due to disability or died in a VA hospital. The new provision for markers applies to veterans' deaths on or after Dec. 27,2001. By Feb. 1, 2006, the Secretary of Veterans Affairs will report to Congress on how much this benefit is being used and recommend whether or not to continue it. 

Since Sept. 11, 2001 we have seen the images of the horrific destruction caused by terrorist. The call to duty was answered by our military. Some of our fellow brothers and sisters were called up for duty. To them I say thank-you. But, it wasn't just the military answering the call to protect the U.S. Every American one way or another helped during this uncalled for crisis, by either donating money, blood, or volunteering their free time getting these donations. Old Glory could be seen flying in front of every home and business, as well as on personal vehicles. Flags were being bought off of store shelves, that business couldn't make them and deliver them fast enough. I very much like this show of patriotism. We all hear and see sayings for Buy Made In America products because it keeps us working. Well it upsets me that our very own flags like a lot of other products are being made overseas. Yes that's right, if you haven't checked some of the flags being sold in stores, look very carefully, (Made in Taiwan or elsewhere). The next time you go out to buy a flag, make sure that it says made in the USA. Fly your American flag proudly, and don't wait until your flag gets worn and torn to replace it.