Bob Riggio, Chief Meteorologist Emeritus, joins Tom Vallette the Pennington County Veterans Service officer, and they discuss potential benefits that many veterans may not be receiving.
Vallette says, “I hear from veterans all the time that haven’t heard about our services, which usually it’s going to be the older population because when they got out of service, it was a lot different. They didn’t have the briefings that they have today. Some of them have no idea that they have benefits waiting for them that they’ve already earned. There’s federal benefits, the ones that we really want to get folks involved with is the VA health care and possibly VA disability compensation. The important thing with health care is everything could be paid for, for something that somebody is then going out of their pocket for all these years.”
Vallette says that medical benefits are important to veterans but so is VA compensation. “For a veteran who is injured or got sick during his service or her service, there’s a lot of times they have residuals. Maybe they have a disease right now because of their time in the military and you have bad knees or bad back and they can be compensated for those disabilities.”
These services exist not only in South Dakota but all across the country. Vallette explains, “South Dakota is unique, where every single county in South Dakota has at least one veteran service officer assigned to the county here in Pennington County. I’m happy to say that we now have three . We just recently hired our third VSO, and that’s going to help us out a lot.”
For more information, call the Pennington County Veteran’s Services Office at (605) 394-2266 or visit their website here.