Hoey & Farina would like to thank Jennifer Ingram for writting this Straight Track article. Jennifer is a Veteran of the United States Navy, a Veterans Service officer, and married to Mike Ingram a locomotive engineer for Norfolk Southern Railroad. Jennifer is an accredited Veterans Service Officer through the National Association of County Veteran Service Officers. Her office is located in Watseka, IL and she can be reached at 815-432-2721 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org; her office hours are Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 8:00 AM – 12:00 PM.
One may wonder what these three things have in common, if anything at all. As you may know there is a common relationship between these three things. The railroad (any of them) has a vast military veteran employee pool and of course the military veteran may or may not have any dealings with the Department of Veterans Affairs. It is of key importance that military veterans that are employed by the railroad realize that there are many benefits for him or her and/or his or dependents and spouses.
As a Veterans Service Officer, a United States Navy Veteran, and the spouse of a locomotive engineer it is up the upmost importance to get the word out on the street of the possible benefits that are available to military veterans and spouses. Many of these benefits are available solely based on military service and honorable service/discharge. These benefits range from healthcare benefits, education benefits, VA home loan benefits, and service connected compensation and pension benefits that are available due to injury or illness that occurred while serving on an active duty military assignment.
A few of the most common and rapidly increasing service connected maladies that are under consideration by the Department of Veterans Affairs are Agent Orange Exposure for Vietnam War veterans and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder(PTSD) of current service member and veterans. The list is continually growing of current presumptive illnesses that are occurring as a result to exposure to Agent Orange. For example, type II diabetes, ischemic heart disease, and neuropathy are just a few of the presumptive diseases that indicate Agent Orange exposure and of course the Department of Veterans Affairs takes other factors into consideration when deciding on a decision for a service connected disability. In the case of PTSD, it is of the up most concern that veterans get the treatment either through the Department of Veterans Affairs or in the private sector. These are just a few of the service connected disabilities that the VA offers treatment and/or compensation for and it is of the up most importance that Veterans be made aware of the availability of these programs and benefits. Again, there are many programs that are available to veterans, spouses, widows, and children of veterans.
As a Veterans Service Officer I also help veterans start a claim with the VA by starting and filling out the correct paperwork and counseling the client in a comfortable, caring environment. There are Veterans Service Officers located throughout the United States. If one is interested in contacting a Veterans Service Officer one can be located by at www.nacvso.org and clicking on the tab find a service officer.
Additional information can be found at: