Are US vets forced to fend for themselves?
Veterans of Foreign Wars' Ryan Galucci responds
- Duration 4:38
- Date Feb 13, 2013
Veterans of Foreign Wars' Ryan Galucci responds
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An American hero the navy seal who shot Osama bin Laden seal team six Esquire Magazine to magazine telling this week this story this week.
While keeping his identity a secret but it wasn't just about it was about all these guys.
But the story ends up not being a celebration it's not the shooter struggle now we can find a job -- pays bills and worst of all it can't tell anyone what he's done.
But the truth is this is a reality for many of our vets is trying to set is as a way to should be treated let's ask Rangel -- get.
Deputy legislative director for veterans of foreign wars good morning to -- The good morning Gretchen are so -- -- start out with what do you do to try and help veterans.
Well I work for the veterans of foreign wars of the US one of the largest veterans' organizations in the country and what we do as we advocate on behalf of veterans.
The VFW has a cadre of service officers stationed at VA regional offices and military installations around the country.
Who -- able to help veterans navigate the complex paperwork process that comes with filing for disability benefits with Department of Veterans Affairs.
By having said that this storage written most them of America's stunned.
What about this story.
Is new to you.
To be perfectly honest not much of this was very surprising this is an issue that my organization has been looking to tackle over the last few years.
How we deliver information to transitioning service members other shooters not alone in this situation.
-- I had a very close friend of mine a friend from high school as a matter of fact.
Who was air force ROTC went to one of the top engineering schools in the country served on active duty in the air force for a few years.
And a couple of years ago on he was unfortunate not enough to lose his civilian job.
He came and asked me you know what's out there for me -- -- qualify for these benefits I I informed him that he qualified for the five years of free health -- so something.
That would help -- now in in the -- -- But that there was a hole.
Wealth -- benefits that he may be eligible for as a result of his military service and his service specifically in Iraq and Afghanistan.
It's and -- sorry continue.
I don't know after reading the Esquire story it really reinforced the lot of the work they were doing.
I'm glad that this this really brought it to the public's attention I mean Americans care about the shooter -- an American hero and it SO what the VFW is doing is admirable but why is that the Department of Veterans Affairs not doing it.
Well here's what's interesting a lot of the information is difficult to find when you transition out of the military and some of these.
Hand holds between department Defense Department veterans affairs or even Department of Labor which manages the veterans employment training service.
As as smooth as we would like them to be thankfully there are some opportunities right now to improve that.
Two years ago congress mandated that Department of Defense would revamp its transition assistance program and that participation would be mandatory for all service members.
Ryan if she every that the demands are different from war to war you know the better than most in these wars that we're going to be fighting out special forces going to be called -- over and over again.
What I think he's gone through and.
So -- can't get through -- twenty years what are we gonna do for the guys -- physically are not going to be the same and cannot stay around to get their pensions.
But we have to do a better job of making sure they receive the care that they are entitled to while they're on active duty for one.
And documenting the kinds of injuries that they and they're on these kind of -- missions be reading through that Esquire story really painted a vivid picture of exactly what.
The -- the operational tempo is like for someone like the shooter now highly specialized in doing all of these these missions that many of us were even in uniform.
Really wouldn't be able to pull off.
And pundits have been well but not knowing that they had these benefits available to -- he says he was never told that he had this five -- health care plan.
And now apparently 40% of all that's according to an article in stars and stripes.
Don't a -- right for that extended health insurance because they don't know about it that is unbelievable.
Well exactly one of the things that I keep saying about the transition assistance program.
-- when you're on active duty you don't necessarily know what you don't know and so much of the information is just funneled upon you quickly.
That you can't really discern what's going to be important for you afterwards and and before.
Tap participation wasn't mandatory and many times especially special operators because of how quickly they need -- to move through the process -- won't be able to take advantage of it.
And risky thing we would -- brought up is actually true you got to tell tell these people what they're capable of the other thing is -- got to make the benefits better.
They got to be able to retire with some type of pension.
And and be able to go to take a deep breath rather than try to get a civilian job right away there's not a lot of civilian jobs that are easy easily transferred from.
If you have seal team six skills thanks so much Ryan for coming coming aboard today.