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How many benefits and resources are there?: Share and Seek

Thursday, May 21, 2020 15:44 | chad pearce

The first phase of my assigned blog topics as part of my internship through the DoD Skill Bridge program have led me down a path of self reflection and personal growth.  That's been a solid foundation to my transition out of the military after 20 years of service.  I've appreciated very much all the great comments and support. 

The next phase of the blog focuses on analyzing my resources, benefits and network.  Knowledge and connections are both important and should continue to grow throughout life. 

With this post I seek to SHARE information and SEEK information from my network and hopefully my network's network.  There are so many benefits and resources out there that I need to discover and I know I am not alone.  I challenge all who read this blog post to engage by adding information, even if it's as simple as a link to a website that details a benefit or resource. 

The focus of the information I would like to share and seek is for the benefit of the those looking to join the military, transitioning military and overall veteran community and their families.  

A few stats about the transitioning veteran / veteran demographic:

  • Each year, approximately 200,000 to 250,000 military members transition to civilian society

  • There are roughly 18 million veterans in the United States today representing 7.1 percent of the U.S. population

  • The majority (91 percent) are men 

  • Half of all veterans are aged 65 or older

  • Twenty One percent of veterans served in the military on or after September 11, 2001 – we refer to them as post-9/11 veterans 

I recently used the VA home loan and it was a tremendous benefit! The overall savings from this benefit made it possible for me to move home to California.   

Benefit:VA Home Loan 

Overview: A Veterans Administration (VA) loan is a mortgage loan backed by the federal government. No required down payment, no PMI, highly competitive rates, and lower closing costs are all great reasons to take advantage of this benefit. 


  • For those currently on active duty 90+ days of continuous active service 

  • Active Duty Veteran eligibility is based on service dates and length of service

  • Guard and Reserve eligibility with 90 days of active-duty service or if you had 6 creditable years in the Selected Reserve or National Guard and meet certain criteria. 

* Full eligibility matrix can be found on the VA website 


  • Determine eligibility

  • Select a VA-approved Lender. Only lenders approved by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs can originate VA mortgages

  • Apply for a certificate of eligibility (COE) through the eBenefits site. Usually, a COE can be acquired online instantly through a lender’s portal or through the eBenefits portal on the website. Those servicemembers or surviving spouses whose COEs cannot be obtained online will have to get theirs by mail. A VA lender or the VA can help direct you to the right resource for your specific situation. Depending on your current status (AD, Guard/Reserve, Surviving Spouse) you will need to gather certain documents to apply. 

  • Your lender will process your application and VA appraisal 

  • Note: Working with a real estate professional who specializes in the VA process may help you get the most out of your benefits. This is true because the VA allows certain fees and costs to be paid by the seller (if both you and the seller agree), and a knowledgeable agent will know this and help you negotiate seller-paid fees.

Bonus: Many states offer property tax reductions for qualifying veterans. 

Community, I am SEEKING information from you! Join me in SHARING  information about a benefit or resource by commenting and sharing this post!  



  • Thursday, May 21, 2020 16:34 | Christopher Perez
    Great information on the VA Home Loan program. I used it last year to buy my first home. Thankfully mortgage lenders know this program well and work with you. Incidentally I was able to refi my existing loan and reduced my APR by 1 point saving me a few hundred dollars! One of the best deals for being in the military!
    Link  •  Reply
    • Thursday, May 21, 2020 16:59 | chad pearce
      Thats awesome Chris! I forgot to mention that point about the Refi. Way to be a good Wingman and throw that in there! Appreciate you.
      Link  •  Reply
  • Thursday, May 21, 2020 16:35 | Matthew Flores
    Great post!
    Veteran benefits are an underutilized resource available to many that have served. Not only are there federal benefits but, I also in courage veterans to take advantage of state benefits. although every state is different discounted vehicle tags, college assistance, or even free hunting and fishing license are some common benefits available.
    Link  •  Reply
  • Thursday, May 21, 2020 17:12 | Curtis LaRue
    The benefits for veterans are endless. Free education, health care services, and small business loans are just some of the benefits veterans receive for stepping up to serve this great country. Being in the military comes at a heavy cost but its amazing to see the large amount of US company’s that give military/veteran discounts.
    Link  •  Reply
  • Friday, May 22, 2020 09:25 | Christian Pearce
    Dad, I’m curious what others in your community would say the biggest benefit would be for someone like me who is just joining the Air Force.

    Link  •  Reply
    • Friday, May 22, 2020 09:33 | chad pearce

      🙏 🙏 🙏 🙏 🙏
      Link  •  Reply
      • Friday, May 22, 2020 12:58 | Albert Renteria (Administrator)
        First and foremost Christian, the greatest benefit is knowing you are part of a Band of Brothers and Sisters for life!

        We are an all volunteer military force and America and its citizens have promised endless benefits and opportunities.

        As you plan ahead, learn the ropes! A benefit has no value if you don't know it exist. Most Veterans are not aware of their benefits.

        Performance yields greatest outcome and increased responsibility! The more you grow the higher value of your benefits.

        Everything you need to know is at, search a topic and discover. If you are willing, visit the website and search what you think is a benefit of interest and share with all of.

        There's so much to learn and this blog reaches many globally. Semper Fi Al
        Link  •  Reply
    • Friday, May 22, 2020 16:09 | Deleted user
      Yo CJ, I would have to say education. active-duty you can take advantage of tuition assistance which is awesome that's 100% of your tuition paid for any school lot of schools are offered on base an end is really tremendous benefit that gets underutilize actually in my opinion. what was really great is it in your dad, myself and you know many others that actually including people who post in the same thread and taking advantage of these same benefits and got an associate's degree bachelor's degrees as well as even master's degrees.
      Link  •  Reply
  • Friday, May 22, 2020 16:05 | Deleted user
    There are there are so many other great benefits about being a veteran you mention the housing there's also cemetery burial benefits School and many others. Many of these benefits go unused by lot of veterans up until recently. programs like DOD skillbridge and other websites and non for profit organizations and really highlighted some of these great VA benefits for great service men and women. I have use the VA loan twice and has saved me thousands of dollars.
    Link  •  Reply
  • Wednesday, May 27, 2020 09:22 | Andrea Samson
    Hi Chad. I am a former loan processor, and was always proud to work with veterans on their loans. I always took special care of the VA loans, I guess as my way of giving back. Thank you for your service and this blog.
    Link  •  Reply
    • Wednesday, May 27, 2020 20:05 | chad pearce
      Andrea, thank you for commenting. Communities support our veterans and programs like the VA loan are a tremendous benefit.
      Link  •  Reply
  • Thursday, May 28, 2020 17:07 | Bethany Horgan
    Thanks for doing this analysis on resources, benefits and the importance of networking. Benefits rank amongst the top reasons people choose to join the military alongside a sense of tradition and thirst for adventure. Like every organization, you have to consider that not everyone is motivated by the same things. For me, benefits were a major factor in deciding I wanted to serve because I value benefits such as tuition assistance, medical insurance and retirement. Whether you are looking to join, transitioning from the military or contemplating retirement it’s good to know there are benefits you can use to help. Looking forward to future posts Chad!
    Link  •  Reply
    • Friday, May 29, 2020 07:09 | chad pearce

      So good to hear from you! Yes, the benefits we enjoy as service members are substantial and definitely help to attract top recruits like you to join. Medical insurance is now a MAJOR benefit I am thankful for as I take advantage of Tricare for Life post military service. More information about our Tricare benefits can be found at

      Link  •  Reply
  • Tuesday, June 02, 2020 19:42 | Paul Petersen
    There are so many benefits offered Veteran and I believe my family has taken advantage of some many of these, especially when it comes to travel. VA Home Loan was how we bought our first home. Countless nights on various hotels on installations all over the world along with discounted tickets through MWR/Tickets & Travel. Not to mention the discounts at Lowes, Home Depot, and so many other places....just inquire you might be surprised!! I believe this is one of the best benefits military has to offer.
    Link  •  Reply

DOD Welcome home-small.jpg A welcoming home for our Troops.

Welcoming home our men and women doesn't end after the crowd disperses, it MUST continue on for the life of the Veteran! They've served us, now we will serve them with programs that work so they reintegrate into society.

We are a national public benefit nonprofit organization that educates American Communities about best practices to serve Veterans.  We honor their service by empowering Veterans to apply their training and skills to successfully transition to productive careers and enterprises.

We provide free vocational training 24/7 to all of our members through our website, in addition to local events.  We believe the tenet that American Communities are the ultimate beneficiaries when Veterans claim their benefits and invest in productive endeavors.

The SWVBRC enlists the support of members of local Communities like you to increase Veteran awareness of the value of obtaining a VA card and receiving earned benefits.

Sponsorships, donations, volunteers and support from communities like yours enable us to reach out to Veterans and empower them to transition back into successful, productive enterprises that ultimately benefit all Americans and support future generations.

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