The American Legion national website now offers a handy state-by-state directory of veterans benefits, some of which are little-known. From health-care services to hunting and fishing license exemptions and free passes to state parks, the new online guide details state and federal benefits alike for those who have served the nation in uniform, and their families. In some states, different benefits are available for veterans with service-connected disabilities.
The web page is located at this link: http://www.legion.org/veteransbenefits/state
American Legion Past National Vice Commander Doug Haggan, a service-connected disabled veteran, said he discovered a few years ago that more benefits were available to him in Indiana than he realized. “For instance, if you’re 10 percent disabled in Indiana, your kids can go to a state school for free,” he said. “The more I hunted, the more I found.”
Haggan said state veterans benefits are not always well promoted. “Disabled or not disabled, there are many different benefits, but no one is there to hand the information off to you. A lot of people don’t know, for instance, they can often go to state parks for free for the weekend, or at discounted rates.”
His discovery in Indiana led him to look at all U.S. states, and he began to assemble a database of different veterans benefits, by state. “It was a big undertaking, but it was well worth the effort,” he said. “I hope people use it.”
Haggan added that he would like American Legion service officers to review the clickable state pages on the site to see if he missed any benefits that could be added. “If people come across a benefit I didn’t get in there, just email me,” he said. Haggan’s email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.