This coming Friday is Veteran's Day. It sounds innocent enough - we give a moment of respect to “honor all soldiers who have put their lives in danger to protect the United States." It is one of three days - actually holidays, (Armed Forces Day, Memorial Day, and Veteran's Day) celebrating the men and women who serve or have served our country. Armed Forces Day is a day to honor those who serve the United States willing no matter the dangers they face. Memorial Day was created to honor those that have died during wars and other military duties defending our country.
I usually consider it a day to honor all who have served in the military regardless of the time span in which they served, however being a government thing, every government unit has a different definition of a veteran.
Taking the attitude of "money talks, bullshit walks" lets look at the veteran definition when you apply for "veteran" benefits and preference.
Looking at the Federal Government
PART 211--VETERAN PREFERENCE
1. The authority for part 211 continues to read as follows:
Authority: 5 U.S.C. 1302.
2. In Sec. 211.102, revise paragraphs (a), (b), and (g) to read as
Sec. 211.102 Definitions.
* * * * *
(a) Veteran means a person who has been discharged or released from
active duty in the armed forces under honorable conditions performed--
(1) In a war; or,
(2) In a campaign or expedition for which a campaign badge has been
(3) During the period beginning April 28, 1952, and ending July 1,
(4) For more than 180 consecutive days, other than for training,
any part of which occurred during the period beginning February 1,
1955, and ending October 14, 1976; or
(5) During the period beginning August 2, 1990, and ending January
2, 1992; or
(6) For more than 180 consecutive days, other than for training,
any part of which occurred during the period beginning September 11,
2001, and ending on the date prescribed by Presidential proclamation or
by law as the last day of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
(b) Disabled Veteran means a person who has been discharged or
released from active duty in the armed forces under honorable
conditions performed at any time and who has established the present
existence of a service-connected disability or is receiving
compensation, disability retirement benefits, or pension because of a
statute administered by the Department of Veterans Affairs or a
* * * * *
(g) Discharged or released from active duty means with either an
honorable or general discharge from active duty in the armed forces.
The Department of Defense is responsible for administering and defining
Looking at Delaware;
DELAWARE COMMISSION OF VETERANS AFFAIRS
1. HONORABLE ACTIVE DUTY SERVICE IN AN ARMED FORCE OF THE UNITED STATES.
o A person who served on "active duty" other than for training, as defined in Title 38, Section 101(21) U.S. Code as a member of the Armed Forces of the United States whose service was terminated honorably.
o A person who dies under honorable conditions while serving on active duty in an Armed Force of the United States.
a. A member of the Reserve component of the Armed Forces, the Army National Guard, the Air National Guard, and the Reserve of the Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, or Coast Guard, who dies under honorable conditions while serving on active duty for training or full-time service. Members of these organizations whose death occurs while hospitalized or undergoing treatment at the expense of the United States for an injury or disease contracted or incurred under honorable conditions while serving such duty or performing travel directly to or from that duty or service may also be eligible.
b. or a member who has received a letter of notification for eligibility of retired pay at age 60; or
c. who at the time of death would have been entitled to retired pay under Title 10, Chapter 67.
o Members of the Delaware Army National Guard or Air National Guard who have served on full-time duty as a member of the United States Army or Air Force (Federalized) and was not under the direct orders of the Governor of Delaware, may also be eligible.
2. LEGAL RESIDENT OF THE STATE OF DELAWARE
To meet the legal residency requirement (in addition to the required active military service that was honorable) the veteran must have been:
a. A legal resident of Delaware at the time of death; or
b. A legal resident for a period of 10 years (or more); or
c. A legal resident of Delaware when he or she entered the Armed Forces of the United States; or
d. When an honorably discharged veteran was a legal resident of Delaware for less than 10 years, the Delaware Commission of Veterans Affairs may determine whether or not there are compelling reasons for waiving the 10 year residency requirement.
In Maryland one version has this;
Veterans Affairs, Maryland Department of (MDVA
Who Is A Veteran?
• A person who served on full time active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces, other than active duty for training, and was discharged or released under conditions other than dishonorable. Those who enlisted in the military after September 7, 1980, and officers commissioned or who entered active military service after October 16, 1981, must have completed two years of continuous active duty or the full period for which they were called or ordered.
• An individual who died while serving on active duty, or was disabled or died from a disease or injury incurred or aggravated in the line of duty while performing active duty for training or inactive duty training.
• Certain members of a reserve component of the U.S. Armed Forces who meet the legal residence requirements.
• Certain members of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (formerly the Coast and Geodetic Survey) and the Regular or Reserve Corps of the Public Health Service who meet the legal residence requirements.
• Members of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the Regular Reserve Corps of the Public Health Service are eligible for burial if they completed full-time duty (other than for training) as a commissioned officer:
• On or after July 29, 1945. If the service is performed while serving on active duty for training, his or her death shall have resulted from a disease or injury incurred or aggravated in the line of duty; or before that date:
• While on transfer to one of the Armed Forces; or
• While in time of war or national emergency declared by the President, assigned to duty on a project for one of the Armed Forces in an area determined by the Secretary of Defense to be of immediate military hazard; or
• In the Philippine Islands on December 7, 1941 and thereafter.
In addition, Public Law H.R. 821, enacted May 4, 1994, extends burial eligibility to persons who have 20 years of service creditable for retired pay as members of a reserve component of the Armed Forces or who would have been entitled to retired pay but for the fact that the person was under 60 years of age.
and in Virginia
Virginia Department of Veterans Services
Eligibility for most federal and state benefits is based on discharge from active military service under other than dishonorable conditions. Active service means full-time service as a member of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, or as a commissioned officer of the public health service, the Environmental Services Administration, or the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Current and former members of the Selected Reserve may be eligible for certain benefits, such as home loan guaranties and education, if they meet time-in-service and other criteria. Men and women veterans with similar service are entitled to the same federal and state veterans benefits.
World War I: April 6, 1917 through Nov 11, 1918
• for veterans who served in Russia
April 6, 1917 through July 1, 1921
April 6, 1917 through Nov 11, 1918
• for veterans who had at least one
day of service
World War II: Dec 7, 1941 through Dec 31, 1946
Korean War: June 27, 1950 through Jan 31, 1955
Vietnam War: Aug 5, 1964 through May 7, 1975
Feb 28, 1961 through Aug 5, 1964
• for veterans who served "in country"
Gulf War: Aug 2, 1990 through a date to be set by
law or Presidential Proclamation
Now this is but some of the definitions of a veteran, but each time you try to claim you are a veteran there seems to be a different set of rules. I can remember applying for a State Of Delaware job back some years ago and being told I couldn't take the Veteran's Preference because I had not enlisted in Delaware - apparently enlisting in other States doesn't count.
There are so many other rules that will knock you out of the Veteran classification here are two examples; the first is someone who was still in the
military and the second is someone who did not fall into the time spans for certain veteran preferences
So rather you go for those free meals on veteran day or those extra points you may or may not get for Veteran Preferences in jobs and housing stop and think about rather or not you are a veteran.