The Columbus Dispatch reports that Ohio veterans who served in the Persian Gulf, Iraq, and Afghanistan wars are eligible for a one-time bonus from the state.
Ohio voters approved the measures in November, authorizing Ohio to spend up to $200 million to give qualifying veterans $100 for each month of service in any of the three wars, up to $1000. Those who served elsewhere are eligible for $50 a month up to $500, and family members of veterans who died during conflicts are eligible for a payment up to $6,500.
Governor Ted Strickland admits that no amount of money is adequate—or perhaps even appropriate—to reward the sacrifices made by Ohio veterans. “But,” he notes, “these checks will help, perhaps, make a mortgage payment, put food on the table, or start a savings account. And these payments will say something clearly and directly to our veterans: thank you.”
An estimated 200,000 veterans can receive the bonus. Applications can be found online, at any Ohio Veterans Service office, or by calling 1-877-OHIO-VET. One slight wrinkle: applications must be notarized and sent in with the requested documentation. Veterans, be prepared to submit proof of current Ohio residency and a DD214, which should show proof of service, proof of Ohio residency at the time of enlistment, service during the three wars, and an honorable or under honorable conditions discharge. Eligibility requirements are listed at the bonus website. Overall, there appear to be a few simple hoops to jump through, but qualifying veterans or their families will find it well worth the effort.