Resources for veterans

Pull out boxes with mugs of both commissioners

The Georgia Department of Labor has served 413,516 veterans since Mark Butler became Georgia’s ninth labor commissioner on Jan. 10, 2011.

Source: Georgia Department of Labor, 8/10/2018

In the calendar year 2017, veterans made 152,919 visits to offices of the Georgia Department of Veterans Services. The department also fielded 211,082 other inquiries by email, phone, mail, and fax.

Source: Georgia Department of Veterans Services, 8/14/2018

Georgia war veterans of the 20th Century

WORLD WAR I

77,000 Served

1,937 Killed in Action

3,319 Wounded in Action

67 Ex-POWs

54 (MIA) Still Unaccounted For

WORLD WAR II

324,373 Served

6,781 Killed in Action

11,650 Wounded in Action

652 Ex-POWs

364 (MIA) Still Unaccounted For

KOREAN WAR

75,000 Served

740 Killed in Action

1,040 Wounded in Action

97 Ex-POWs

173 (MIA) Still Unaccounted For

VIETNAM WAR

228,000 Served

1,584 Killed in Action

8,534 Wounded in Action

21 Ex-POWs

28 (MIA) Still Unaccounted For

GULF WAR (DESERT STORM)

28,000 Served

13 Killed in Action

14 Wounded in Action

2 ex-POWs

WAR in IRAQ & AFGHANISTAN

73,265 Served

212 Killed in Action

1,478 Wounded in Action

1 ex-POW

Active Duty Military in Georgia (Calendar Year 2016)

Also, as of the calendar year 2016, according to DoD –

60,952 at eight military installations)

Army – 47,409

Marines – 1,233

Navy – 3,666

Air Force – 8,163

Coast Guard – 481

27,000 military reservists

14,000 National Guardsmen

Source: U.S. Department of Defense

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Who’s doing what to help the Georgia veteran?

Here’s a list of some of the resources available to help Georgia veterans.

Georgia Department of Veterans Services

Its mission: to advise, counsel and assist Georgia veterans and their families at no charge in receiving their rightful benefits under the vast and complex framework of veterans’ benefits laws.

GDVS Field Service Officers are available at 50

offices around the state to provide direct assistance

to veterans and their families with a variety of

concerns from benefits claims or driver’s license

certifications, all the way to assistance with an

an appeal of a veteran’s claim decision.

More about the mission at

https://veterans.georgia.gov/sites/veterans.geo

rgia.gov/files/related_files/site_page/GDVS-2017-

AR-web.pdf.

A summary of veterans’ benefits

provided by the state can be seen at

http://veterans.georgia.gov/state-benefits.

Information on other veterans’ services is available

At https://veterans.georgia.gov/rvtf.

Veterans can visit any of the

department’s 50 field offices to

discuss potential federal and state

benefits. Find a location near you at:

http://veterans.georgia.gov/field-offices.

Join the department’s online communities at http://facebook.com/gavetsvc

and http://twitter.com/gavetsvc.

The GDVS also maintains two veterans

memorial cemeteries and two veterans nursing

homes. Many Georgia veterans qualify for a free

burial in a state veterans memorial cemetery.

(https://veterans.georgia.gov/cemeteries

and https://veterans.georgia.gov/veterans-nursing-

homes).

The GDVS Women Veterans Office provides

information, advocacy, outreach, and support to

the over 90,000 women veterans who call Georgia

home. Assistance can range from help with filing benefits claims to counselling for military sexual

trauma and hosting enrichment programs to help connect these veterans with local resources. This office was established in 2017 after passage of Senate Bill 108. More info at https://veterans.georgia.gov/women-veterans.

Georgia Department of Labor

One of its missions is to serve veterans and their spouses.

GDOL staff can assist veterans in finding work, transitioning into the workforce, building career skills, credentialing military experience and training, and accessing state and federal veterans’ services.

The GDOL’s employment assistance services include:

  • Career and employment counseling
  • Direct job referrals
  • Job developments with potential employers
  • Labor market information
  • Job search workshops
  • Résumé / application and cover letter assistance
  • Eligibility determination for special programs
  • Referral to training and/or supportive services
  • Information on veterans’ employment benefits, rights and preferences
  • Resources for changing careers or transitioning from the military to civilian employment

The department also ensures veterans receive preference and priority of service as prescribed by federal, state, and local laws.

For info on veteran services offered through the department, call 404-232-3527, or visit Labor’s website, https://dol.georgia.gov/

The website provides a list of the department’s career centers to access services for veterans. Call, email, or visit a career center for more information on the Labor Department’s help for veterans.

Laws passed by the Georgia Legislature in 2018 affecting veterans

Military Firefighter Training is Acceptable: HB 699/Act 327 lets military firefighter training count as required basic training for firefighters.

Extra Plate for Gold Star Families: HB 287/Act 307 amends the law pertaining to Gold Star Family license plates to allow two (rather than the previously allowed one) free license plates to any eligible family member of U.S. military killed in action.

Benefitting Veterans: HB 422/Act 313 allows the Veterans Service Board to create the Georgia Veterans Service Foundation, Inc. The foundation would be a 501(c)(3) non-profit with the ability to solicit and collect funds to benefit Georgia’s veterans.

In related action, SR 484 created the Senate Study Committee on Creating a Lottery Game to Benefit Veterans. Sen. Ed Harbison will chair the five-person committee, which will ”look at the possibility of creating one or more games within the Georgia Lottery for the benefit of Georgia’s military veterans.” The committee reports its findings by Dec. 1, 2018.

VA Medical Centers (3 in Georgia)

Charlie Norwood VA Medical Center

Augusta, GA 30904-6285

p: 706-733-0188 Or 706-733-0188

http://www.augusta.va.gov/

Atlanta VA Health Care System

Decatur, GA 30033

p: 404-321-6111

http://www.atlanta.va.gov/

Carl Vinson Medical Center

Dublin, GA 31021

P: 478-272-1210

http://dublin.va.gov

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Veterans Benefits Administration Offices

Atlanta Regional Benefit Office, Decatur

P: 800-827-1000

Atlanta Regional Loan Center, Decatur

P: 800-827-1000

Veterans Crisis Line – 1-800-273-8255 and press 1, send a text message to 838255, or chat online. This free and confidential service is available to veterans, current service members and their loved ones, 24 hours a day, all 365 days a year.

Atlanta Habitat for Humanity’s Veterans Initiative helps U.S. veterans, military service members, and their families build through a proven program for qualified homebuyers, improve their current homes by completing critical home repairs, and use their skills and talent to give back to their community through volunteering. Any veteran participating in Atlanta Habitat’s program has access to over 100 courses in homeownership, financial literacy and life skills that we provide annually. Read more: http://www.atlantahabitat.org/veterans-initiative

The University System of Georgia

The Veterans Resource Center at Georgia Tech http://www.veterans.gatech.edu/

is dedicated to serving students who are veterans, military, reservist, guard members, and dependents by providing comprehensive support services that enhance and complement the academic experience. Visit the center at Tech’s Smithgall Student Services Building, 353 Ferst Drive, Atlanta 30332, Room 150.

All University System of Georgia institutions have a dedicated space for student veterans and provide some form of early/priority registration for veterans utilizing VA Educational Benefits.

The University System of Georgia enrolls more post-9/11 GI Bill students than any other public “four-year system” in the nation, according to the Veterans Administration.

Eight USG institutions have been designated as Centers of Academic Excellence for Cyber Operations by the National Security Agency and Dept of Homeland Security. Here are the eight and their area of focus: Georgia Southern University (forensics); Augusta University (healthcare); Columbus State University (cyber security education); Georgia Tech (cyber security education); Kennesaw State University (cyber security education); Middle Georgia State University (cyber security defense); University of North Georgia (information assurance); and University of Georgia (cyber defense research).

Georgia was the only state with two public institutions in the Top 10 of the Military Times Best Colleges 2018 ranking. This ranking selected only 140 schools nationwide wide and 8 were from USG. The two in the Top 10 are: Armstrong State University, now a part of Georgia Southern University and Georgia State University. The other six that made the Top 140 are: University of Georgia; Kennesaw State University; College of Coastal Georgia; Augusta University; Georgia Southern University; and University of North Georgia.

For more information: https://bestforvets.militarytimes.com/2018-11-20/colleges/4-year/

We Hire Heroes USA http://WeHireHeroes.US/Atlanta,

is a veteran-owned, online job board and career center providing quality employment opportunities and transition guidance for metro Atlanta’s veterans, spouses, retired military, and active duty personnel.

OTHER AGENCIES

Georgia Secretary of State engages veterans in the elections process as members of the electorate and volunteers at the polls. Assists veterans in navigating the processes of applying for business, corporate and other professional licensing. Contact: 404-656-2881

Georgia Veterans Education Career Transition Resource Center offers career counseling, educational coaching and workforce training for veterans entering Georgia’s public postsecondary education systems and workforce. Contact: 478-218-3900, http://www.gavectr.org/

Georgia Department of Behavioral Health & Developmental Disabilities provides treatment and support services to people with mental health challenges and substance use disorders and assists individuals who live with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Contact: 404-657-225

Georgia Department of Human Services delivers a wide range of human services designed to promote self-sufficiency, safety, and well-being for all Georgians. Also gives priority to veterans for enrollment in Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP), which serves the unemployed age 55 and older looking to re-enter the workforce. More info: 1-866-552-4464

Council of Accountability Court Judges of Georgia assists in the development of veterans’ treatment courts. Contact: 404-656-2613

Technical College System of Georgia provides support for veterans pursing education. Contact: 404-679-1667 or 404-679-1760

University System of Georgia provides support for veterans pursuing education. Contact: 404-962-3110 or 404-962-3082

Workforce Division of the Georgia Department of Economic Development aids through Operation: Workforce, a program through which veterans can find tools to translate their military occupational classifications into civilian jobs and search for career opportunities with employers who have pledged to hire veterans.

Contact: 404-962-4069

Other relevant info

Some breaks for veterans are available through state

tax exemptions. (Georgia Department of Veteran Services makes no guarantee regarding the award of tax exemptions. But these are some possibilities.)

Abatement of income taxes for combat vets: Georgia law provides that service personnel who die because of wounds, disease, or injury incurred while serving in a combat zone as a member of the U.S. armed forces are exempt from all Georgia income taxes for the taxable year of death.

Ad valorem taxes on vehicles: This exemption is for veterans who are verified by VA to be 100 percent totally and permanently service-connected disabled and veterans who are receiving or who are entitled to receive statutory awards from VA for: (1) loss or permanent loss of use of one or both feet; (2) loss or permanent loss of use of one or both hands; (3) loss of sight in one or both eyes; or (4) permanent impairment of vision of both eyes to a prescribed degree. The exemption is for one vehicle the veteran owns and upon which the free Disabled Veteran (DV) license plate is attached. Also exempt are veterans who qualify for the Purple Heart or Medal of Honor specialty license plates.

Business certification of exemption: Georgia veterans are eligible for an exemption from any occupation tax, administrative fee, or regulatory fee imposed by local governments for peddling, conducting a business, or practicing a profession or semi-profession, if they meet all these conditions:

■ discharged under honorable conditions

■ service-connected disability rating of 10 percent (wartime veterans) or 25 percent (peacetime veterans).

Exemption of filing deadline for combat deployment: The tax filing deadline for combat deployed military personnel (those who served on active duty as members of the U.S. armed forces during a period designated by the president) runs until 180 days after such deployment ends.

Veterans Driver’s License – Free version of a Georgia driver’s license includes a U.S. flag and the word VETERAN prominently displayed on the front. An honorably discharged veteran is entitled to a free veteran’s driver’s license if two criteria are met: Georgia residency and service during a recognized period of war or conflict.

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