How do you become a veteran?
January 10, 2011 9:57 AM   Subscribe

How do you argue to become a veteran?

Years ago I joined the Air Guard and served with my unit for six months before going to basic training.

At basic, I became very ill (and my illness was their fault), and I was given an honorable discharge, but not veteran status.

Is it possible for me to dispute this? I thought I'd found a veteran's office that could help locally, but when I told them what I wanted, I never heard from them again.
posted by SlyBevel to Law & Government (5 answers total)
According to my retired Army father a veteran has to serve for at least eight months. Since your discharge was medical, however, if you can prove that the military was at fault there is a good possibility that you can achieve veteran status.

You need to contact the American Legion, they will help free of charge (according to my dad.)
posted by TooFewShoes at 10:04 AM on January 10, 2011

You need 180 days of active duty (not Guard/Reserve) in addition to your honorable discharge.
posted by SenshiNeko at 10:06 AM on January 10, 2011

The American Legion and/or your municipality's Veteran's Agent will be able to recommend attorneys with experience in handling this process.
posted by Sidhedevil at 10:21 AM on January 10, 2011

Pretty sure you need active duty service before your eligible. Check with your regional VA office.

And ask them, not the American Legion, as the VA is actually the agency whose opinion you need, whereas the AL is simply a civilian non-profit. A good one, but one without any official status.
posted by valkyryn at 12:53 PM on January 10, 2011 [1 favorite]

Just to clarify, from what I understand the VA is the one who will determine your status but the American Legion is the one to go to for help finding an advocate. Kind of like Legal Aid for military people.
posted by TooFewShoes at 1:47 PM on January 10, 2011

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