Eastern Oklahoma VA Health Care System
OEF/OIF Combat Care Team Enrolls National Guard Soldiers, Discusses VA Benefits
January 24, 2011
Certain combat Veterans who were discharged from active duty service before Jan. 28, 2003 have until Jan. 27, 2011 to take advantage of their enhanced healthcare enrollment opportunity through the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).
That is why the Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom (OEF/OIF) Combat Care Team from the Jack C. Montgomery VA Medical Center (JCMVAMC) recently informed Oklahoma National Guard soldiers about VA healthcare and benefits.
The team visited soldiers from Bravo Company, 2-285th Assault Helicopter Battalion, which served in Iraq from Dec. 2009 to Sept. 2010. Along with learning about VA benefits and receiving the opportunity to enroll for VA healthcare, soldiers got the opportunity to speak one-on-one with the Combat Care Team.
“Informing service members of their VA benefits is good, but you also have to tailor the information to the individual Veteran,” said Louis Gibson, OEF/OIF Transitional Patient Advocate at JCMVAMC, retired U.S. Army Officer and OIF Combat Veteran. “We provided them the opportunity to ask their own specific questions in public and in private with our nurse case manager and to enroll for care at Muskogee or our outpatient clinics in Tulsa, Vinita and Hartshorne.”
Most National Guard soldiers who are federally activated and serve in a theater of combat operations are eligible for VA benefits. If you are a National Guard soldier and have questions about VA healthcare eligibility, please visit www.va.gov/healtheligibility. For information regarding briefings with the Combat Care Team, contact Louis Gibson at (918) 577-3196 or by e-mail at Louis.Gibson@va.gov.