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VSOs: Very Superior (and a little) Old(er) Veteran Service Organizations

Written by veterans  |  21. April 2006

One Might Not Be Enough A Veteran Service Organization (VSO) goes a long way in providing a veteran with information needed. But which one should you join or stay in touch with. I suggest the shortest of answers is, "more than one." To begin with, you have era-related organizations. To compliment those there are both situation and disability related organizations. And, often you find organizations that can provide you with information based on your locale -- both current and retirement oriented. To Mention a Few Blinded Veterans Association (http://www.bva.org/) - The BVA traces its roots back to the end of World War II. In 1958 BVA received its charter from the United States Congress. Ever since then, the BVA has worked to accomplish the mission expressed in their Congressional Charter: If you are a blind or visually impaired veteran, if you are a relative or a friend or if you just want to get involved. We are an organization specifically established to promote the welfare of blinded veterans. We are here to help veterans and their families meet the challenges of blindness. Disabled American Veterans (http://www.dav.org/) - Formed in 1920 and chartered by Congress in 1932, the million-member DAV is the official voice of America's service-connected disabled veterans - a strong, insistent voice that represents all of America's over 2 million disabled veterans, their families and survivors. Its nationwide network of services is free of charge to all veterans and members of their families. Paralyzed Veterans of America (http://www.pva.org/) - A congressionally chartered veterans service organization founded in 1946, it has developed expertise on a wide variety of issues involving the special needs of veterans of the armed forces who have experienced spinal cord injury or dysfunction. PVA uses that expertise to be an advocate for quality health care for our members, and for research and education addressing spinal cord injury and dysfunction. Military Order of the Purple Heart (MOPH) (http://www.purpleheart.org/) - "Some gave all, all gave some." The only congressionally chartered veterans' organization exclusively for combat wounded veterans. The mission of MOPH is to foster an environment of goodwill and camaraderie among combat wounded veterans, promote patriotism; support necessary legislative initiatives; and most importantly, provide service to all veterans and their families." Nassau County Veterans Service Agency (http://www.nassaucountyny.gov/agencies/Veterans/) - There are federal, state and local programs available to veterans. It is the mission of this Agency to ensure that you are receiving the benefits and services that you are entitled to. In addition, the Agency performs a vital function through a volunteer program in transporting veterans to the VA Hospital in Northport. New York State Division of Veteran Affairs (http://www.veterans.state.ny.us/) - The New York State Division of Veterans' Affairs was created in 1945 as part of the Executive Department to assist veterans, members of the armed forces, their families, and their dependents in securing benefits earned through military service. Suffolk County Veterans Service Agency (http://www.co.suffolk.ny.us/webtemp3.cfm?dept=25&id=281) - Suffolk County has the highest population of Veterans in the United States. It is the mission of this Agency to be veteran advocates. There are federal, state and local programs available to veterans. This Agency will assist veterans, members of the armed forces, their families, and their dependents in filing claims and securing benefits earned through military service. United Spinal Association (formerly the EPVA) (http://www.unitedspinal.org/) - USA was founded in 1946 by veterans with spinal cord injuries to help enable members, as well as others with disabilities, to lead full and productive lives. They participated in drafting the Americans with Disabilities Act and other civil rights laws, and continue to promote their enforcement." Vietnam Veterans of America (http://www.vva.org/) - By the late 1970s, it was clear the established veterans groups had failed to make a priority of the issues of concern to Vietnam veterans. In January 1978, a small group of Vietnam veteran activists came to Washington, D.C., searching for allies to support the creation of an advocacy organization devoted exclusively to the needs of Vietnam veterans. By the summer of 1979, the Council of Vietnam Veterans had transformed into VVA, a veterans service organization made up of, and devoted to, Vietnam veterans. Today, VVA has a national membership of approximately 50,000, with 525 chapters throughout the United States, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, and Guam. To List Many More Veterans Service Organizations (http://www1.va.gov/vso/) This database driven website allows you to View VSO information in a variety of ways. Some VSOs are "chartered", which means they are federally chartered and/or recognized or approved by the VA Secretary for purposes of preparation, presentation, and prosecution of claims under laws administered by the Department of Veterans Affairs. Currently, this list contains over 200 VSOs. --- Regards, Walt Schmidt

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