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Alaska Department of Military and Veterans Affairs

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Alaska Department of Military and Veterans Affairs manages military and veterans affairs for the U.S. state of Alaska. It comprises a number of subdepartments, including the Alaska National Guard, Veterans Affairs, the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, Alaska Naval Militia, and others.

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Transcription

♪ I had the opportunity of being selected to serve in the first SEAL team. It all started when my brother George came back from Vietnam. I was so proud of him I told him I wanted to join the service. The proudest moment of my life was working for the Air Force. We have freedom in our country because of the veterans willing to risk their life and limb for us. (speaking native language) Thank you for the service you've provided to our people and our nation. Yeager: The population of Alaska is around 600,000 people and of that number about 77,000 are veterans. Storbakken: The veterans in Alaska being so spread out, they don't realize what a support system the VA is. On this island we've got a lot of Vietnam vets. A lot of them fought the VA, say 20 years ago. Well, it's not the same VA. Yeager: Every single veteran is important to us. We want to know who they are. We want them to enroll so that we can begin to serve them and to better coordinate their health care needs and that's what the VA is all about. Once a veteran's enrolled and determined to be eligible for health care, the VA offers the full continuum of health care benefits. Storbakken: The benefits I've gotten from the VA have been annual physicals for awhile and then just recently having an eye tumor and getting medevaced to Seattle to get specialized care and then not having to worry about how much that's going to cost and am I going to lose the house over it or am I going to have to work for the rest of my life? Washington: I was at the point where I did not go hunting, fishing, walking and with the VA health care I started getting better and better and better. We have an Indian health service-funded clinic here in Metlakatla, so with our staff of medical doctors and nurses, we can receive the care right here. Yeager: Our partnership with the native system is absolutely critical, essential, to have in order to provide that health care to those veterans that live in those remote communities where the native system is the only health care available. Bean: The veterans won't have to travel so far away from home. They could use the facilities that we have in our regions and the VA's funding will support their health care in those facilities. I served in the military for 20 years and I know what it means to serve and then in turn the government gives you benefits. This is the VA. If you wear the uniform, you're done with the uniform, let's see what we can provide you. Storbakken: I enrolled in the VA just before I was going to retire because I didn't want to have a break in the service. For the guys that have been out 20, 30 years, 40 years, it's never too late to get back in the system. I try to encourage all of them, man or woman, when they come out of the military to sign up with the VA. If they can just go online, call us, complete the form themselves at home and send it to us, that's it. That's how simple this process is. Yeager: We've trained folks we call Tribal Veteran Representatives who live throughout the state of Alaska, mostly in highly rural areas and mostly veterans. Storbakken: I got the training and I'm able to help other vets get in the system by filling out the 10-10EZ. It's two pieces of paper. Honorable? Yes. It makes my day when I could have even one veteran come up to me and say thank you. Yeager: It's all about the relationship and building trust and that really comes from the VA reaching out and meeting the individual needs of a veteran. I need to encourage all of you veterans to please enroll for those benefits that you're entitled to. There's enough benefits out there with the Veterans Administration for all of the veterans. Yeager: Every single veteran counts. Individually, one by one, we feel we're successful if we can reach out and touch one veteran to improve their life and get them their health care benefits. Storbakken: I served 24 years, eight years active, and then the rest was reserve and I loved my job. The pride that I got from being accepted into the military, it was like I finally made something. I could do something. Atkinson: Because of the lifestyle that I enjoyed and served in with the SEAL team we kind of beat up our bodies physically. Pomelow: Approximately 80 percent of our veterans have served during a time of war. They're surviving disabilities that would have, in pervious wars, resulted in death. Veterans who have incurred an injury while in service are eligible for a disability compensation, that's a monthly compensation that they receive to help to make up for their lacking earning potential. There's also a non-service connected pension program. Depending on the level of disability, veterans can receive somewhere from a couple hundred dollars to a couple thousand dollars. Storbakken: It doesn't have to be getting shot with an IED that makes you go to the VA and get follow up care. My injuries were just repetitive movement. Both my shoulders were dislocated through the military. My hips got displaced three, four times. Atkinson: Presently 100 percent disabled, meaning that I can't hold down a physical job anymore. The disability benefits that I receive from the VA take a gigantic load off. It gives me the opportunity of being the provider for my family. The veterans don't have a timeline for when they can file for disability benefits so they can come to us at any point and sometimes disabilities become worsened through age and they can also cause other disabilities. Atkinson: If my eyes go bad, the VA takes care of that. They give me new glasses. Hearing goes bad, VA sends me to audiologists to get new hearing aids. I think these benefits offer them an opportunity to gain that sense of accomplishment after their service. They also come to the Veteran's Benefit Administration looking for further education. The education can help to augment some of their training they had in the military or to help them become more employable. We also have a home loan guarantee program. They're just so many opportunities available today that if the young veteran would stop and think that these other services are available, besides the medical needs, then sure, we'd get them all signed up in a minute. Pomelow: Veterans can come into our office and we can talk to them directly. Veterans can also log onto our website VA.gov. We have a program that's called eBenefits. It allows the veterans to file applications right online, check the status of their claim through that. They can call our national call centers and also they can participate in various outreaches that we do throughout the state. It doesn't matter if you were an EOD person versus a medic versus the supply guy versus the cook. Fill out the forms and go and get what you're entitled to. And the VA makes sure that we're well taken care of. We do want to make this as easy as we can. Ultimately the goal is to process these claims timely and accurately and to give the benefits to the veterans that they deserve. ("Taps" plays) woman: National cemeteries are beautiful national shrines. We look at it as a resting place among comrades, among the people that they served with. We look at it as a resting place of heroes. Atkinson: It helps the family realize that their veteran who has passed away is honored. ("Taps" continues) It's just a way of dignifying an individual for the sacrifice they made for their country. Walker: They served our country and they need to know what comes with that service. What we like to say for the National Cemetery is everything within the cemetery gates is free of charge. Those burial benefits that we give to the family is what they earned because they went and they fought and they served to give us the freedom that we enjoy today. We have veterans here in Alaska that live everywhere and we want the veterans in the rural communities to be aware of benefits that they have coming to them and how to apply and how to make it easier to get them. If a veteran passes away, for instance in Metlakatla, the VA will pay for the headstone or a plaque, depending on what the family would like to receive, and we help them fill out the paperwork and the VA will pay for putting that headstone together, they pay the transportation to Metlakatla and we just help the families put them in place. Walker: Of course they would still get the honor ceremony and the flag and the Presidential Memorial Certificate. But the only thing that the veteran would have in a private cemetery is the marker or headstone. For me it's a headstone for my father and I did not know he qualified as an Alaska Territorial Guard to get a headstone, so he has a granite headstone. Walker: We have villages all over. We just did a rural outreach in Kake where we went down and set markers of our veterans who served there who were rested in unmarked graves for years because they didn't know how to get the headstones that they had earned and it was so rewarding. Often a lot of people didn't know that they were vets. The flags and the headstones are a symbol to the community of the honor, the integrity of that person. I'm a VA employee. I'm also a veteran. I know the benefits that I've earned and I want the knowledge to be passed on to all the other veterans. It's good for the veterans to know that if they wish to be cremated and scattered at their favorite fishing hole or in their garden out back that they've tended so lovingly, their burial benefits can be used for their eligible spouse and their children. We want to make sure that the veterans, even in the farest reaches of Alaska, when they pass, their service to our country, we want to make sure that that is honored and that they get every benefit that they have earned.

Contents

Alaska National Guard

The Alaska National Guard is Alaska's component of the National Guard of the United States and comprises the Alaska Army National Guard and the Alaska Air National Guard. Current[when?] strength is 1,972 army guardsmen and 2,309 air guardsmen.[1]

The Governor may call individuals or units of the Alaska National Guard into state service during emergencies or to assist in special situations which lend themselves to use of the National Guard. The state mission assigned to the National Guard is "To provide trained and disciplined forces for domestic emergencies or as otherwise provided by state law." The Alaska Army National Guard also operates a launch site for a U.S. anti-missile system at Fort Greely, about 100 miles south of Fairbanks.

The military department's Alaska Military Youth Academy is run by the National Guard.[2]

Alaska State Defense Force

The Alaska State Defense Force (ASDF) is a military entity authorized by both the State Code of Alaska and Executive Order. The State Defense Force (SDF) is the state's authorized militia and assumes the state mission of the Alaska National Guard in the event the Guard is mobilized. It is separate from the National Guard and reports to the Governor of Alaska as ex officio commander. The SDF is composed of retired active and reserve military personnel and selected professional persons who volunteer their time and talents in further service to their state.

Alaska Naval Militia

The Alaska Naval Militia is Alaska's naval equivalent of the Army and Air National Guard. It is composed of members of the Navy Reserve and Marine Corps Reserve members who, like the National Guard, have a dual federal and state obligation; they serve as state military forces unless called into federal service.[3]

Department heads

The department's head is known as the adjutant general of Alaska. Past adjutant generals include (from left): William Elmore (1964–1967 and 1971–1973), C. F. Necrason (1967–1971 and 1974–1982) and Craig Campbell (2002–2009).

References

  1. ^ State of Alaska Archived 2008-09-10 at the Wayback Machine Office of the Governor, National Guard Military Headquarters, accessed October 2, 2008
  2. ^ "Alaska Military Youth Academy". dmva.alaska.gov. Retrieved 5 May 2018.
  3. ^ Nofi, Albert A. (July 2007). "The Naval Militia: A Neglected Asset?". mmowgli. Center for Naval Analyses. Retrieved 23 December 2013.

External links

This page was last edited on 5 May 2018, at 22:49
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