The U.S. government has resources available for those currently serving in the U.S. military, as well as for those looking to serve. Our office also provides nominations for those applying to military academies. Here are a few resources my office can provide about the military:
Make Legal Preparation
1. Establish or update a power of attorney
2. Establish or update your will.
Below are some community resources that may be of assistance in locating an attorney to speak with.
Legal Services and Resources in California
Make Financial Preparations
1. Make sure that your spouse or trusted agent has access to your bank accounts.
2. Update your family budget.
Many civilian soldiers take a pay cut when called to active duty.
Make a budget so that your family is prepared.
3. Review your life insurance policies.
Recent legislation has increased the amount of Servicemen's Group Life Insurance coverage for which servicemembers become eligible upon activation. As of September 1, 2005, you may be eligible for up to $400,000 of coverage. You should check any other commercial life insurance you have see if your life insurance policy excludes paying if you are killed in war, or military service.
Know Your Rights!
Review the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act.
This legislation provides financial protection to members of the Armed Forces during deployment – ensuring that you cannot be evicted, suffer undue increases in credit card interest or mortgage rates, and may provide you with an automatic extension for filing income taxes.
It is very important that you and a spouse or trusted friend are familiar with this legislation so that you know your rights and how to protect them.
1. Make sure that your family is familiar with TRICARE.
2. Make sure that your family's military ID cards are current and will not expire during your deployment.
3. If you have children, notify their school that you are being deployed.
Teachers and administrators will know to watch out for signs that the child is struggling.
4. DON'T try to go it alone.
Deployment is a stressful time for each and every member of your family. There is no shame in seeking counseling to deal with the many issues that arise before, during and after deployment. Please contact my Long Beach office (562-436-3828) if you need help.
Helping Families Stay in Touch
1. Phone Cards and Cell Phones
Free phone cards and/or cell phone are available for members of the military. Visit Cell Phones For Soldiers to learn more.
2. Operation Military Child Care
Operation Military Child Care is a program designed to support the short-term child care needs of active National Guard and Reserve members.
3. Hero Miles
The nonprofit Fisher House Foundation administers the "Hero Miles" program in partnership with the Department of Defense in accordance with Public Law 108-375, Section 585, the FY 05 Defense Authorization Act, amended in 2011. Fisher House Foundation uses frequent flyer miles that have been donated by passengers of our airline partners to provide free airline tickets to support wounded, injured, and ill service members and their families who are undergoing treatment at a military or VA medical center or who are attending authorized events.
4. Relief Societies
For extreme financial emergencies, contact the Red Cross.
5. Getting Information to Troops in the Field
The American Red Cross provides a 24-hour a day communication link between military personnel and their families during an emergency. It is uniquely equipped to provide an exclusive worldwide communications and support network that serves as a lifeline between military service members and their families. For the American soldier and his or her family, the Red Cross is the connection to home, relaying urgent information -- a family crisis, a death in the family, a financial emergency, or a joyous birth.
1. Returning to Work
After deployment is over, it is imperative that Reservists are aware of the
resources available to them as they re-entry into civilian life.
The United States Department of Labor and the California Employment Development Department are great resources for veterans.
2. Counseling Services
The need for counseling is common among families whose loved ones are deployed, or who have just returned from service overseas. Feelings of sadness, frustration, or even anger, are perfectly normal, but it is often helpful to share these feelings with a mental health professional. For
families coping with the extended deployment of a relative, there are a number of resources in our community to look to for mental health care. You can also call my Long Beach office at (562) 436-3828.
United States Department of Veterans Affairs: http://www.vetcenter.va.gov/
U.S. VETS: http://www.usvetsinc.org/
3. Veterans Administration
Veterans Administration website: http://www.va.gov
Veterans Benefits Administration: http://benefits.va.gov/benefits/
4. Additional Services
To find out about local services and jobs: www.warriorgateway.org.
If you would like my help with a military issue, please print out my Authorization Form and fax or mail it to my office. If you have any questions, feel free to call my office.