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Have you ever seen a billboard advertising Veteran's Benefits? I've seen plenty of TV commercials, print ads, and billboards inviting you into military service, but what about ads helping you on the way out? A few companies have effectively joined forces with the armed forces by showing advertisements targeting the military audience, but that's usually about continued education or cold beverages. With so little attention on life after the military, you might be surprised if you saw an ad about post-military life.

Have you ever heard a Friend talking about a TV commercial or advertisement or something they saw on a social media website and you have no idea what they're talking about? The steady stream of benefits available to you as a military person seems to have the same effect sometimes.

What you don't know might hurt you.

To make things simple, I'll feature some articles that focus on 3 significant areas of military benefits; Healthcare, Educational, and Financial. This time we'll cover 2 of these. But before we begin, please make sure to check with the appropriate office or agency to learn what's current.

Healthcare

According to Military Advantage Author Terry Howell, under Servicemembers Group Life Insurance (SGLI), you can be issues a traumatic injury benefit (known as TSGLI) of between $25,000 and $100,000 if you sustain one of the following types of injury:

  • Total and permanent loss of sight
  • Loss of a hand or foot
  • Total and permanent loss of speech
  • Total and permanent loss of hearing in both ears
  • Loss of thumbs and index finger on the same hand by severance at or above the metacarpophalangeal joints (that's a fancy medical terms for the area around the large knuckles)
  • Quadriplegia, paraplegia, or hemiplegia
  • Burns greater than second degree, covering 30 percent of body or 30 percent of the face
  • Coma or the ability to carry out the activities of daily living resulting from traumatic injury to the brain.

In order to claim this benefit, you must be insured under SGLI and other requirements may apply.

Educational

There's a new benefit under the VOW to Hire Heroes Act of 2011 from my previous blog post that might be helpful for those who qualify.

Expanding Education & Training: To begin moving veterans out of the unemployment lines, the VOW to Hire Heroes Act of 2011 provides nearly 100,000 unemployed veterans of past eras and wars with up to 1-year of additional Montgomery GI Bill benefits to qualify for jobs in high-demand sectors, from trucking to technology. It also provides disabled veterans who have exhausted their unemployment benefits up to 1-year of additional VA Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment benefits.

When I'm driving along the freeways in various cities, I'm intrigued by those cool billboards that change messages every few seconds. Sometimes the advertisements draw attention to a new car, other times the ads claim to be playing a particular song on a radio station, still other ads that brag about the "wait time" at an Emergency Room show up on the big screen. If I could afford it, I would place the following advertisement on the jumbo billboard for all to see:

"Attention veterans ages 35-60: Are you unemployed? Looking for a job? Don't have the skills you need? Learn more about the VOW to Hire Heroes Act, which will provide up to 90,000 unemployed veterans, ages 35-60, with a year of Montgomery GI Bill benefits to retrain in high-demand job sectors."

I had the opportunity to ask, Chairman of the House Committee on Veterans' Affairs Rep. Jeff Miller about the new Act and what the impact can be in terms of educational benefits:

"Under the new VOW to Hire Heroes Act, unemployed veterans have the opportunity to retrain in high-demand sectors to compete in today's changing job market. With hundreds of thousands of veterans out of work today, we need to ensure that the educational and training benefits in place are appropriate for the 21st century and help put our veterans on a productive and successive career path."

In an article Bright Lights, Big Impact: Why digital billboards are growing in popularity by Inc. Magazine's Sarah Goldstein, "the cost of advertising on a digital billboard runs from $1,200 to $10,000 a month, and the ad campaigns are typically not expensive to create."

I think that's a small price to pay to find talented Military Spouses and Military Veterans. We're used short & simple messages, so let's see what companies do to advertise 3 simple words: "WE HIRE MILITARY!"