The Veterans Employment Program of Lake County, Illinois

on Wednesday, 25 November 2015.


The Veterans Employment Program of Lake County (VEP) was created by Catholic Charities with two goals in mind:

  1. Help our local unemployed U.S. Military Veterans (and military spouses) find employment.
  2. Help our business community find qualified people to fill their employment needs.

VA Memorial Benefits for Veterans and Family Members

on Thursday, 06 April 2017.

Pre-Need Application Form

VA takes special care to pay lasting tribute to the memory of Veterans who served and sacrificed and that of their families. VA meticulously maintains 135 VA national cemeteries in 40 states and Puerto Rico and is working to increase access to accommodate Veterans and eligible family members close to home. In a few years, 95 percent of Veterans will have a burial option in an open VA, state or tribal veterans cemetery located within 75 miles of their home. Some benefits are also available for Veterans who choose burial in a private cemetery.

Pentagon Plans Changes to Post-9/11 GI Bill Transferability

on Saturday, 25 November 2017.

Defense officials are considering changing the rules under which troops may transfer Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits to family members. Army photo | 20 Nov 2017 | by Amy Bushatz

A rule allowing troops to transfer their post-9/11 GI Bill benefits to their children or spouse may soon see changes, a Defense Department official said in testimony submitted to lawmakers last week.

"The Department of Defense intends to issue a policy change to the 'Post-9/11 GI Bill' regarding the transferability of benefits to eligible family members," Anthony Kurta, acting deputy under secretary of defense for personnel and readiness, told members of the Senate Armed Services Committee in a written statement.

"Effective one year from this change, the ability to transfer benefits will be limited to service members with less than 16 years of total service," he wrote.

Currently, service members can transfer their post-9/11 GI Bill benefits to a dependent family member if they have at least six years in service and agree to serve an additional four years.

National Guard Scholarship Announced

on Friday, 09 February 2018.

NatGuard 2

Leonardo DRS Guardian Scholarship Fund
Administered by The National Guard Educational Foundation


Eligibility Criteria for ALL Scholarship Grants

1. A scholarship applicant must be a dependent son or daughter of a National Guard member who died in an operational or training mission in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Iraqi Freedom or Operation New Dawn.
2. All scholarship grants are to help cover the cost of tuition, applicable room and board, fees, and books.
3. All educational institutions to be attended by scholarship recipients must be geographically located within the SO United States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, or Guam.
4. All scholarship applicants or previous scholarship recipients must apply or re-apply each year no later than June 30.
5. Send scholarship applications and required documentation to:
    The National Guard Educational Foundation
    Attention: Leonardo DRS Guardian Scholarship Fund
    One Massachusetts Avenue, NW
    Washington, D.C. 20001
6. Scholarship recipients will be notified no later than August 1.
7. All scholarship grants awarded will be paid directly to the educational institution to be attended by the scholarship recipient.

The 2017 LCVFSF Annual Report is Available

on Sunday, 04 March 2018.


The Lake County Veterans and Family Services Foundation Annual Report is available and is filled with great information of the accomplishments of our work in 2017.

There are a number of ways to get a copy:

1. Feel free to drop in at DryHootch to pick up a copy.
2. Read it on line here on our website
3. Electronic copies through the Pathfinder newsletter.
4. Click on the image above to get a copy

To access all the hotlinks, download a copy of the report in pdf format.

It is that time of year again.  The Lake County Veterans and Family Services Foundation Annual Report is available for your review. 


It is filled with great information about the stories and metrics of our work in 2017.  There are a number of ways to get a copy:


  1. Feel free to drop in at DryHootch to pick up a copy.
  2. Read it on line on our website at
  3. To access all the hotlinks, download a copy of the report in pdf format.
  4. Click on the image above to get a copy


VA Will Offer Mental Healthcare to Vets with "Bad Paper"

on Friday, 10 March 2017.

WASHINGTON – Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Dr. David J. Shulkin while testifying in a House Veterans Affairs Committee hearing on March 7, 2017, announced his intention to expand provisions for urgent mental health care needs to former service members with other-than-honorable (OTH) administrative discharges. This move marks the first time a VA Secretary has implemented an initiative specifically focused on expanding access to assist former OTH service members who are in mental health distress and may be at risk for suicide or other adverse behaviors.

“The president and I have made it clear that suicide prevention is one of our top priorities," Shulkin said. “We know the rate of death by suicide among Veterans who do not use VA care is increasing at a greater rate than Veterans who use VA care. This is a national emergency that requires bold action. We must and we will do all that we can to help former service members who may be at risk. When we say even one Veteran suicide is one too many, we mean it.”

Vets Who Didn’t Serve in Vietnam Can Claim Benefits for Agent Orange

on Tuesday, 07 November 2017.

For direct online access to VA benefits and resources, create an account here.

From 1961 to 1971, almost 20 million gallons of a combination herbicide were dispersed over nearly a quarter of the country of Vietnam in hopes that it destroy foliage, thus revealing before-hidden pathways of the enemy: the guerrilla Viet Cong, otherwise known as the National Liberation Front.

The defoliant chemical, Agent Orange, killed plants and other vegetation, but it also proved toxic to the United States military members serving on the lands it touched, then and decades after.

And it wasn’t just Vietnam and neighboring Cambodia. Unfortunately, the compound substance harmed vets serving outside of this combat area — sometimes reaching hundreds and thousands of miles away.

If you or a loved one served and was affected by the poisonous affects of Agent Orange, but didn’t serve in Vietnam, it’s still possible to claim benefits or compensation (payments) for this contact.

2018 IRS Tax Information for Military Members

on Friday, 26 January 2018. Posted in News

What Members of Military Should Know about the Earned Income Tax Credit

The IRS reminds members of the military and veterans that they may qualify for the earned income tax credit. This credit benefits certain people who work and have earned income that’s less than $53,930.

A tax credit usually means more money in the taxpayer’s pocket. The EITC can reduce the amount of tax someone owes, but it might also result in a refund. Here are some things members of the armed forces should know about this credit. 

2018 VA Disability Rates

on Friday, 09 February 2018.

The 2018 VA Disability rates saw a 2.0% increase effective December 1, 2017 and is the largest increase since 2012. The 2017 VA Disability rates saw a small increase of 0.3 percent. This is after seeing no increase in 2016.

VA disability rate tables for veterans with a disability rating of 10 percent or higher. Eligible veterans with disabilities can receive up to $3,527.22 per month as a tax free monetary benefit. Veterans with disabilities can use the following VA disability charts to determine how much financial assistance they are eligible for.

Military Members Get Free Tax Assistance

on Monday, 06 February 2017.

The IRS offers free tax help to members of the military and their families through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program. VITA is available both on and off base including sites for military members overseas. Here are five tips to know about free tax help for the military.

Armed Forces Tax Council. The Armed Forces Tax Council oversees the military tax programs offered worldwide.

Certified Staff. Military VITA certified employees staff their sites. They receive training on military tax issues, like tax benefits for service in a combat zone. They can help you with special extensions of time to file your tax return and to pay your taxes or with special rules that apply to the Earned Income Tax Credit.