The Christy Collection

Military Stories and Articles

VA Updates: Are You Eligible for Disability Compensation?

VA Updates: Are You Eligible for Disability Compensation?

A frequent topic in conversations with Veterans is how they were injured in service and whether they are eligible for benefits. Generally, they point out they didn't serve in combat but were injured while in service. Their question is, given their experience, "Am I Eligible for Disability Compensation?" Eligibility Criteria for Disability Compensation The specific benefit they are referring to is Disability Compensation. This is a tax-free monthly payment for Veterans who have suffered an...

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Service Reflections of SGT Rafael Irizarry-Laporte, U.S. Army (1966-1968)

Service Reflections of SGT Rafael Irizarry-Laporte, U.S. Army (1966-1968)

As a kid, I always liked the military. As a young kid, I wanted to join the Navy. When I got to high school, we had Army JROTC, and my interest changed to Army or Marines. My dad, who was in the Army, convinced me that the Army was the way to go because it was bigger and promoted faster. He was a tanker and tried to steer me to armor. I wanted to be an airborne ranger, and my dad said whatever you do, ensure you get what you want in your contract. When I went to the recruiter, I scored very high on the ASVAB. The career counselor told me that he didn’t have airborne infantry available. He said the only thing with airborne was the 31C Radio Operator, probably because of the high GT. I believed him and felt good about getting guaranteed airborne. It first took me to the 82nd, and as soon as I got there, I started applying for a Ranger assignment because I got put in the Engineer Battalion, and it wasn’t what I wanted. After a year and a half, I got my wish and orders for Ranger Indoctrination and the 2nd Ranger Battalion.

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VA Updates: Glad You Asked

VA Updates: Glad You Asked

During Veterans Month, I had the opportunity to brief several companies' Veteran groups about the benefits they earned from their military service. During my presentations, I provided a quick overview of all the benefits and then devoted three-quarters of the hour to answering questions from the attendees. I've found that answering questions enables me to provide more situation specific information and often suggest next steps they can take to receive their benefits. Inevitably, there are more...

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VA Updates: Veteran Benefits – Earned By Veterans, Not An Entitlement

VA Updates: Veteran Benefits – Earned By Veterans, Not An Entitlement

Serving in the military has several features. These include solid training, leadership opportunities, and competitive compensation. Generally less recognized are the various monetary veteran benefits from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs for those who served honorably. These are earned benefits, not entitlements. Veterans should be aware of these benefits, how they can be accessed, and, most importantly, how they can be used to improve post-service life. The Most Used Veteran Benefits...

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Vietnam and Beyond: Veteran Reflections by Jenny La Sala And Jim Markson

Vietnam and Beyond: Veteran Reflections by Jenny La Sala And Jim Markson

Those who have fought on a battlefield often describe it as a combination of extreme excitement and gut-wrenching terror. It's also a huge assault to the emotions that can leave permanent mental health damage. Today, that condition is called post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). In the past, it has been known as battle fatigue (WWI) and shell shock (WWII).  This well-styled, organized, and powerfully written book is a compilation of first-hand accounts by warriors who suffer some aspects of...

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