Rides, Rallies and Events Recap

The Veteran Rider

Written by  October 31, 2005

Demographic studies will clearly show a close relationship between motorcycle riders and America’s veterans. Most of us who ride have a little grey around the edges and, unfortunately, a little extra around the middle. While that may say some negative things about us, it also says we are in the age bracket to have served America in the military. Regardless of all the demographic research, this column is designed to keep the Veteran Rider of all ages and service periods informed about information of interest to vets and their dependents.

There are many possible benefits available to honorably discharged veterans through various federal laws as well as state laws. All vets would do well to become familiar with those benefits that pertain to them. One problem that exists is that veteran benefits and eligibility criteria vary from vet to vet. Not only that, but circumstances can change, laws can change, as can other factors that will grant eligibility now where a denial was made earlier. There are considerations of war time service, length of time in service, character of discharge, finances, dependency, and many others. Your situation will be unique, and each vet should get the absolute facts from a trained veterans counselor. What your riding friend or your neighbor down the road is doing may have nothing to do with your own eligibility for VA benefits.

In our advanced technology age there are many resources available to those seeking advice and/or assistance in applying for benefits. Most states have a network of veterans service representatives and all regional offices have counselors available to you. General information can be found on the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs website at www.va.gov and again, most states have a website dedicated to veteran information. Be reminded that these sites are generalities and the best bet for concise information is with a qualified counselor.

As time marches onward, this column will deal with specific issues that affect the lives of our Veteran Riders. These include benefits, rides of interest to veterans, law changes, and others. Watch future issues of Cycle Connections for more information about your benefits and the benefits of family members. There is nothing worse than finding out about valuable benefits months or years after the need has come to light. It happens all the time. Stay tuned for more information about your veteran’s benefits.

By Roger Kinard