Basic Survival Skills
How to Use this Book
By Craig Kubey and Paul Sullivan
Life is unfair.
—John F. Kennedy
his book will help you survive in the world of the veteran. This world,
like the world at large, is not a fair world. Your country asked you to
take years out of your life and to risk life itself. But when you came
back, it gave you some praise but little comfort. Instead, it gave you
Though there are other federal agencies that benefit the veteran, and
though there are many state programs for veterans, the VA (formerly the Vet-
erans Administration and now the Department of Veterans Affairs, but always
called the VA) is more important to most vets than all the rest combined.
But the VA isn’t what it should be. It’s a bureaucracy. Full of programs that
cover enough vets and programs that don’t, full of people who care and people
who don’t, full of prompt responses and endless delays and full of rules, rules,
The American Veterans and Servicemembers Survival Guide
This part of the book focuses on programs run by the VA. It also deals
with programs administered by other federal agencies and the states. These
programs—especially those of the VA—can save your life. VA medical care
can repair your body. VA educational benefits can put you through school. VA
disability compensation and pensions can pay many of your bills. VA loan
guarantees can make it possible for you to buy a home.
But to get the most out of the VA, or the Small Business Administration
or the veterans department in your home state, you have to know what you’re
doing. You have to know the benefits to which you’re entitled, the problems
you may face and how to solve them and where to go for help.
This book contains all of that. But we—the authors of this book—want
you to know how to get the most out of it. We do not suggest that all veterans
read every page of this book. For most veterans, that is not a good use of
time. We suggest that you look through