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The Washington State Department of Veterans Affairs (WDVA) is Washington’s state agency tasked with supporting resident Veterans. With a mission to “Serve those who Served,” the WDVA engages in a wide variety of in-house programs as well as community partnerships.

Services (in alphabetical order):

Burial:

Since Memorial Day, 2010, the WDVA has maintained the Washington States Veterans Cemetery in Medical Lake, WA. Eligibility for internment in the State Veterans Cemetery mirrors the National Veterans Cemetery requirements:

All U.S. Veterans discharged under conditions other than dishonorable;
spouses, and/or dependent children.

More Information:

Burial is free for eligible vets, $300 for eligible family.

WASHINGTON STATE VETERANS CEMETERY
21702 W Espanola Rd.
Medical Lake, WA 99022
Phone: (509) 299-6280
E-mail:
cemetary@dva.wa.gov

Claims Assistance/Advocacy:

WDVA provides VA benefits advocacy for Veterans and Veterans family members through staff Veterans Service Officers. Service Officers are available at any of the WDVA Service Centers and can provide outreach services for areas not near a WDVA Veterans Service Center.

WDVA Service Center (King County)

Seattle Service (Call) Center
418 2nd Ave Extension South
Seattle, WA 98104
(877) 904-VETS (8387)

WDVA Service Officer (King County)

Kathy Nylen
Veterans Community Service Coordinator
(206) 473-1078
kathyn@dva.wa.gov

Commercial Driver Training Military Certificate:

Recently discharged Veterans (within last 12 months) and military members with truck driver training can utilize the relationship the WDVA has formed with the Washington State Department of Licensing (WA-DOL) to obtain their Commercial Drivers License (CDL). To utilize this resource the Veteran needs to contact the WDVA and submit their training records to WDVA staff for assessment of qualifications. When qualifications have been determined, the WDVA will issue a Commercial Drivers Military Training Certificate for the Veteran to present to the Department of Licensing as proof of CDL training. Veterans must still pass the skills and knowledge test and pay all license fees to be issued their CDL.

The Military Training Certification Process:

              • Veteran must provide the following documents to the WDVA:
                • Completed Application
                • Record of Discharge (Form DD-214) or Military Personnel Record (MPR,ERB, ORB), and Military Drivers Training Record (Form 348, 348-E, 5384-E), A.C.E. Registry Transcript System, Verification of Military Experience and Training (DD Form 2586), or other military training records.
              • WDVA will verify the applicant’s eligibility.
              • Review submitted documents for accuracy, training, and eligibility.
              • WDVA will issue to the Veteran the following.
                • Commercial Driver Training Military Certificate (Training Confirmed); or
                • A letter (Training Not Confirmed) to Veteran explaining why certification cannot be issued to Veteran.
              • The Veteran must present the certificate to the licensing office at the time of having their Commercial Drivers License (CDL) issued.

Contact: (800) 562-2308

Counseling:

In the WDVA PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) Program, the WDVA contracts out to community based mental health professionals to perform less formal yet high quality mental health support for Veterans and their families. The WDVA contractors have an average of twenty-four years direct service experience in mental health and have a deep understanding of the military as well as trauma commonly experienced by those who serve and those who live with them.






Point of Contact:

Dorothy Hanson
PTSD Program Director
(360) 725-222o
dorothyh@dva.wa.gov

Eligibility:

Honorably discharged war era Veterans and their family members
Washington State National Guard or Military Reserve members deployed in support of the nation’s war and peacekeeping missions, and their family members

The veteran does not need to be suffering from or diagnosed with PTSD, but should be able to demonstrate significant post war adjustment issues to warrant outpatient care.

VA service connected disability for any condition is not required for this service within the WDVA PTSD Program.

Services are free to qualified veterans

Education:

The WDVA provides assistance for Veterans wishing to go to and succeed in higher education. This takes the form of a published Guide for Veterans Attending College as well as partnerships with campuses across the state in the Partners for Veterans Supportive Campuses Program.






Under the umbrella of the Partners for Veteran Supportive Campuses program, the WDVA provides information and assistance to institutions of higher education (and training programs) within Washington State.

Areas of Support

          • Awareness of Veterans programs on and off campus
          • Veteran cultural competency
          • Best practices and policies to foster social support, acceptance, a welcoming environment, in a setting that meaningfully acknowledges the contributions of our veterans
          • Use of GI Bill benefits
          • Access to services through WDVA and its federal and local partners


The following (King County) public campuses have pledged their commitment to serve Veterans and their families by providing support services and referrals to help Veterans achieve their higher education goals:


        • Seattle University 11/10/09
        • South Seattle Community College 1/12/10
        • University of Washington Seattle 10/5/10
        • University of Washington Bothell 11/8/10
        • North Seattle Community College 4/25/12
        • Seattle Central Community College 5/23/12
        • Green River Community College 6/5/12
        • Bellevue College 6/7/12

Contact:

Heidi Audette
(800) 562-0132 option “1”
heidia@dva.wa.gov

or

Peter Schmidt, Psy.D.
(425) 640-1463
peter.schmidt@edcc.edu

Incarcerated Veterans Services:

More Information:
http://www.dva.wa.gov/incarcerated_project.html

Operation Recognition:

Veterans who were forced to discontinue their high school education due to service in WWII, the Korean Conflict, or the Vietnam War are eligible to receive a high school diploma if they:

Were honorably discharged from the military;
Were scheduled to graduate from high school during the years of the war or conflict listed above.

Posthumous recognition is also available.
Veterans with a GED may apply for a diploma.

The application for this recognition requires the Veteran to obtain their discharge paperwork (DD214 or equivalent). Once the Veteran has completed the application and has a copy of their discharge paperwork, they can mail the items to a high school of their choice (one which they have ties to, one they may have graduated from, one that is near by).

Veterans Innovations Program:

The Veterans Innovations Program provides assistance to Veterans and their families for financial hardships that arise in result of deployments to Iraq or Afghanistan. The VIP is administered in two separate programs:

Defenders’ Fund:

A one time emergency grant of up to $500 meant to be paid to creditors (landlords, utilities) to resolve the immediate financial hardship.

Eligibility:

          • Current or former WA National Guard or reservist
          • Served: in Operation Noble Eagle, Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF), Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF), or Global War on Terrorism (GWOT) – receiving a GWOT Expeditionary Medal.
          • Experiencing financial hardships in: employment, eduction, housing, health care, or other areas due to extended deployment

Competitive (individual) Grant Program:

A substantially longer term program than the Defenders’ Fund, the Individual Grant Program provides grants tailored to the needs of the Veteran and their family for the purpose of helping them obtain family-wage employment.

Eligibility:

          • National Guard, Reserve, and Active Duty
          • Served in Operation Noble Eagle, Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF), Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF), or Global War on Terrorism (GWOT) – receiving a GWOT Expeditionary Medal.

Sample of how the grant could be used (from the WDVA website):

                  • Supplement wages for on-the-job training or apprenticeship programs;
                  • Tuition payments for education or certification programs; and/or
                  • Supportive services such as transportation assistance, housing, child care, or other needs-related payments necessary to enable an individual to resolve crisis situations, enter training or employment, and/or retain employment.

Contact:
wdvavip@dva.wa.gov


Veterans Estate Management Program:

The WDVA is an authorized protective payee and serves Veterans and their family member in this capacity when they are incapable of managing their own financial affairs.

Protective Financial Services Provided:

        • Fiduciary appointment by the Department of Veterans Affairs
        • Representative payee appointment by the Social Security Administration
        • Executor of Veteran’s estate

State Veterans Homes:

Washington State currently has three Veterans Homes administered by the WDVA: The Solder’s Home in Orting, the Veterans Home in Retsil, and the Veterans Home in Spokane. All three homes are responsible for providing medical and supportive care to Veterans who are no longer able to provide those for themselves.

Eligibility:

              • Served at any time, in any branch of the United States Armed Forces including National Guard;
              • Received an honorable discharge;
              • Reside in Washington State; or
              • Spouse or widow of an eligible veteran.

Locations:

Washington Soldiers Home and Colony
1301 Orting-Kapowsin Hwy
PO Box 500
Orting, WA 98360
(360) 893-4515

Washington Veterans Home
1141 Beach Dr
PO Box 698
Retsil, WA 98378
(360) 895-4700

Spokane Veterans Home
222 East 5th Ave
Spokane, WA 99202
(509) 344-5770


Contact: 1-877-VETS-R-US (1-877-838-7787)