HonorBound Foundation has awarded the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S. a $55,263 grant to help offset a larger initiative that will begin equipping VFW Service Officers with new laptops and tablets so that they can more efficiently and effectively help more veterans to file disability claims with the Department of Veterans Affairs.
The VFW has nearly 2,000 VA-accredited service officers across America and abroad. In 2017, more than a half-million veterans represented by the VFW received $7.7 billion in benefits from the VA, to include $1.2 billion in new benefit awards. VFW Service Officers are stationed at every VA Regional Office and on two dozen military installations to help transitioning service members to complete and file their claims, but despite being seemingly everywhere, there are still veterans residing elsewhere who are need of the professional—and free—services the VFW provides to all eligible veterans, regardless of whether they are VFW members or not.
And that’s where reliable Internet connectivity is the key, not just because VA is building a paperless claims process, but because being able to effectively serve veterans where they reside requires instant Internet access. The HonorBound Foundation grant will go far to jumpstarting the larger $300,000 VFW initiative, which is ensure all service officers have the ability to provide the same service to all veterans anytime, anywhere.
“The key player in all of this has been the veteran service officer,” said HonorBound Foundation Executive Director Phil Kraft. “Having served as a VFW post commander for 15 years, and in various VFW district and national offices and appointments, it seemed a logical match to find a way to simplify the job of the veteran service officer, as well as to thank them for their tireless efforts.”
“The VFW is in business to help as many veterans and their families as possible, and part of our success relies on technology,” said VFW National Commander B.J. Lawrence. “We’re thankful for the Honor- Bound Foundation’s generosity, which will help ensure our professional advocates can process more VA claims wherever and whenever needed.”