Insights for Veterans from Behind Friendly Lines

Insights for Veterans from Behind Friendly Lines

As a military member, has it ever been your desire to know more about the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and what benefits and services accrue as such? If so, we hope our new monthly column, Behind Friendly Lines, helps you better understand VA.

Here's what you can expect every third Sunday in this valuable Gazette space. The first thing I'm going to do is provide content relevant to veterans along with the front range. Secondly, I will do my best to address topics of the most significant concern to you all.

Please contact with any suggestions. Third, you'll find out about resources, pages, benefits and initiatives that matter to you.

The phrase "you" includes veterans and spouses, caregivers, survivors, family members, etc.

This column is not about these things.

You don't have to worry about politics. I do not care about your political beliefs.

The VA secretary is not your direct contact, and I have a chain of command.

The complaint box is not yours. There are probably more effective ways to deal with a problem if you have a problem.

There are three VA administrations, as well as a central office. Veterans Health Administration is the country's largest integrated health care network, serving more than 9 million vets every year through over 1,200 health care facilities.

You have three health care options as a veteran in the Centennial State. If you get your care at the Floyd K. Lindstrom VA Clinic in Colorado Springs, it's part of the VA Southeastern Colorado Health Services System.

The VA West, Colorado Health Care Center, delivers health care to residents of Mesa County. Last but not least, if you're a student-veteran at CSU, you'll be cared for by the Cheyenne VA Health Care System.

Veterans Benefits Administration is the second most significant.

The VBA helps service members transition out of the military and helps veterans get an education and life insurance. I have used VBA on several occasions when applying for VA home loans. Denver VA Regional Benefit Office in Lakewood is our nearest VBA facility.

The third is the National Cemetery Administration. Their goal is to make sure the nation never forgets those who served. Veterans and eligible family members of veterans are provided with dignified burial services. There are two cemeteries in Colorado Springs and Denver: Pikes Peak National Cemetery and Fort Logan National Cemetery.

The VA supports our veterans from leaving the military to living civilian life to retiring and aging. Veterans and their families encounter moments that matter through these life stages - events that are significant to that particular life stage.