Veterans Day > The Veterans' Bill of Rights


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Veterans' Bill of Rights

THROUGHOUT AMERICAN HISTORY our military has provided for the national defense and preserved our way of life. The American military is not a faceless body but a collection of individuals — patriots united by a legacy of selfless service and sacrifice. America's veterans know the cost of freedom and have never looked to others to pay that price.

THAT SPIRIT POWERS this rallying cry to veterans. Now is the time to find your brothers and sisters, those who also once bore the nation's burden. Look not solely to government agencies but to each other, as well. As ten percent of the American population, you have the ability to inform, to employ, to mentor, to heal — to change the lives of other veterans.

Now is the time.

Rights associated with a veteran's standing are manifest in the following articles:

Article I

The Right to Understand Benefits

Veterans have the right to comprehensive and accurate information about pay, benefits, and health care that is easily understood. This right is assured regardless of what organization is providing the benefits — federal, state, or local.

Article II

The Right to Use Benefits

Veterans have the right of ready access to all of the benefits for which they are entitled. Veterans with physical or mental disabilities or those who simply don't understand "the red tape" surrounding benefits must be provided assistance that will allow them ready access.

Article III

The Right to a Good Job

Veterans have the right to jobs commensurate with the skills and experiences gained in the military. Veterans must have access to tools that will allow them to create resumes that properly translate their military skills into civilian skills and language. They also have the right to understand all of their options surrounding federal employment and veteran preference. At the same time, employers, especially veteran employers, have the responsibility of understanding the advantages that veteran employees bring to the marketplace.

Article IV

The Right to Keep That Job

Veterans have the right to serve in the nation's National Guard and Reserve forces with the confidence that if they must leave their civilian jobs for extended periods they will be protected. Both veterans and their employers should understand USERRA and what the law requires in terms of veteran employment and re-employment rights.

Article V

The Right to Treatment For Service-Related Illness

Veterans have the right to health care for any service-related illnesses, be they physical or mental. Further, veterans have the right to the best medical care the government can provide.

Article VI

The Right to Respect and Nondiscrimination

As a result of demonstrated patriotism and the selfless desire to protect our way of life, veterans have the right to respect and nondiscriminatory treatment from all Americans and organizations both public and private.

Article VII

The Right to Identity Protection

Veterans have the right to trust that government organizations that possess personal data will safeguard that data.

Article VIII

The Right to Education

Veterans have earned the right to pursue dreams through education. Organizations charged with facilitating a veteran's use of GI Bill benefits must be responsive. Places of higher education must also give veterans appropriate consideration and treatment.

Article IX

The Right to Community

Veterans have earned their place among veterans and can depend on the veteran community to keep them informed, empowered, and enabled with respect to the issues articulated in Articles I through VIII. For its part, pledges to continue as the forum for these activities.

Veterans Unite