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Compton: Merchant Marines eligible for benefits

By George Compton
Saturday, July 12, 2008

Q. My father served in the Merchant Marine in World War II and I understand that he is eligible for veteran's benefits. Is that true?

A. Merchant Marine seamen who served under the Coast Guard, the Naval Transportation Service or the Army Transportation Service during World War II are eligible for veteran's benefits. The requirement is that they have a discharge document. To request a discharge document, bring any voyage and ship data available to this office for assistance.

Q. I recently enrolled in the VA medical program and I am being treated at the clinic in Oxnard. Is it possible to have my wife in the system?

A. To have your wife in the VA system (CHAMPVA), you would have to be rated 100 percent service-connected disabled.

Q. I have the opportunity to purchase a fourplex. Is it possible to use a VA Home Loan for this purchase?

A. You can use the benefit if you are going to occupy one of the units in the fourplex.

Q. My organization would like to have a table at the Veterans' Health Fair. Who should I contact?

A. The third annual Veteran's Health and Resource Fair will be held Aug. 23 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., at 1701 N. Lombard St. in Oxnard.

The fair will provide free health screenings, benefit and resource information and, as usual, entertainment. The event is certainly not limited to veterans and their families.

Call 888-620-6993 or go to http://www.procarenet.com/vetfair to get a table. On behalf of our veterans, thank you for your support.

— George Compton, retired Army colonel, is the veterans service officer for the County of Ventura, Human Services Agency. Send your questions to Veterans Service Office, 1701 Pacific Ave., Suite 110, Oxnard, CA 93033; phone number: 385-6366; fax: 385-6371; or e-mail: George.Compton@ventura.org.

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