Veterans Corner: Q&A, Air Force Change and Passport Renewal | Local news

Q: I served three years in the military. Is it too late to file a disability compensation claim related to my service’s service during the Vietnam War?

A: There is no general time-out for filing a VA claim. However, you will need your DD 214, a copy of your military medical records from the National Personnel Records Center in St. Louis, to review and see if the information supporting your claim appears in your medical record. In addition, gather your medical records for any illness reported since you left the military. While collecting this information, you must complete an Intent to File a Claim form 21-0966. This will keep your filing time up to a year so that you can gather the necessary information to support your claim. Many approved claims will include the refund on the date the intent to file form was received by the VA. Work with a Certified Veterans Service Officer to complete all forms submitted to the VA, including the intent to file the form and complete Form 21-4138 Statement in Support of the Claim. Even if an intention to file a claim is submitted, the claim will be rejected if the supporting documents and Form 21-4138 are not submitted within 12 months.


The US Air Force has permitted the optional use of the gender pronouns he / him, she / she, and them / them in electronic signature blocks for official email correspondence. The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer / Queer team was formed earlier this year to identify and work to address issues that hinder the success of LGBTQ Airmen and Guardians, according to the Air Force. According to a verified email sent to Stars and Stripes, “Air Force officials said the changes” address the multiple concerns of our Airmen and Guardians and promote a more inclusive environment. ” Pronouns can now be placed after the name in parentheses or on another Most of the more than 400 comments on the Facebook post ridiculed the change as an unnecessary nod to political correctness when the military faces challenges more pressing issues, from suicide in force to tensions with China and Russia, but some people with neutral names have expressed appreciation for the change.

On December 13, President Biden issued an executive order directing the State Department to “design and deliver a new online passport renewal experience that does not require any physical documents to be mailed.” The government has announced that starting December 23, federal government employees, military personnel and their families will be able to use the online passport renewal system before it goes public in 2022. Previously, the renewing his passport required a trip to a government office, returning the old passport and submitting payment by check or money order. Travelers also had to find a place to take a passport photo. Visit for more detailed instructions. Hopefully this expedited system will have adequate safeguards to prevent the improper issuance of passports to people entering the country through illegal channels.

Jerry Vogler is the superintendent of the McLean County Veterans Assistance Board.

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