Return The Favor: Gulf War veterans bonus

Return The Favor

Some Midstate veterans could be eligible for a special bonus. The state is giving money to men and women who served in the Persian Gulf War.

You have to hurry; the deadline to claim it is fast approaching.

The Persian Gulf conflict didn’t last long; it was only a year. Still, about 700,000 U.S. soldiers took part.

“It was a very compressed war, but operations have been going on in that area ever since, over 25 years of operations there,” said Brian Natali of the Pennsylvania Department of Military and Veterans Affairs.

Now, the state wants to give back to those who served. The bonus program pays $75 for each month of service, up to a maximum of $525.

To be eligible for the bonus, a service member must have:

– Served with the U.S. Armed Forces, the Reserves, or the Pennsylvania National Guard;

– Served on active duty in the Persian Gulf anytime from August 2, 1990 to August 31, 1991;

– Received the Southwest Asia Service Medal;

– Have been a legal resident of Pennsylvania at the time of active duty;

– Discharged under honorable conditions.

“The reason is to thank veterans for their service in times of war,” said Natali, “We always want to thank veterans for their sacrifice and willingness to defend our nation, and this is one of the ways that the commonwealth does that.”

The state is also giving $5,000 dollars to the families of those who died from illness or injury related to Operation Desert Shield and Desert Storm.

Service members who were declared prisoners of war may also be eligible for $5,000.

The deadline to apply for the bonus is Aug. 31. For more information on how to do that, go to https://www.dmva.pa.gov/veteransaffairs/Pages/Programs%20and%20Services/Persian-Gulf-Bonus-Program.aspx

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