|Story & photo by Tom Michele, Eagle Systems &
In addition to pay for their duty in uniform, Soldiers
earn a long list of financial, health-care and other benefits that
enhance their quality of life.
But some of those earned benefits go unclaimed, according to Kevin
Herman, Mobilization/Deployment program manager at Fort McCoy’s Army
Community Service (ACS) Center.
Herman equated the situation with an employer laying several $100 bills
on a table in front of a Soldier, telling the Soldier this is what they
earned. “Does the Soldier pick up the money and take it with them, or do
they leave it on the table?”
“Many Soldiers leave it on the table,” Herman said. “They leave a lot of
money (benefits) unclaimed.”
Soldiers can learn more about their benefits at either of two
presentations Thursday, March 17 at the 88th Regional Support Command
Headquarters auditorium, building 60.
The identical presentations will be from 9 to 10 a.m. and 2 to 3 p.m.
The Department of Army Headquarters Deployment Cycle Support Office will
conduct the briefings, which will be followed by a question-and-answer
Herman emphasized the program is for all Soldiers — active-duty, Reserve
and National Guard — and their Families, and attendance at one of the
presentations is highly encouraged.
Herman said Army benefits programs are dynamic, with new benefits being
added, others discontinued, and many changing their parameters. Herman
said this scenario also pertains to spouses and children as many
programs and benefits are made for the Soldier’s entire Family.
“Attendees will gain knowledge to allow them to make better-informed
decisions about very important aspects of their lives and the lives of
their Families,” Herman said. “That can make the Army experience a
better experience for the entire Family.”
“There is so much available through the briefing that I guarantee there
is something for every attendee — a new Soldier to the retired Soldier.
It’s really a briefing to help keep them up to date with all of the
changes in Army life and those benefits. Soldiers will be better able to
control their destiny with the knowledge they gain here.”
Herman said the briefing will introduce the official Army Benefits
A Soldier may browse more than 150 fact sheets regarding benefit
eligibility and highlights; calculate estimates of survivor and survivor
education benefits; forecast retirement benefits; and learn about major
property tax relief, education benefits, hunting and fishing privileges;
and access special information for severely injured Soldiers and their
Families in the Wounded Warrior section of the site. Department of
Veterans Affairs information also is included.
The website provides a link to each state that details the benefits in
that state, as they vary considerably from one to another, and
A mouse click will display the entire website in Spanish.
Herman said the website is updated constantly and also is tied into the
Defense Eligibility Enrollment Reporting System. A Soldier may access
the website, input their information, and the website will detail all of
the specific entitlements for that Soldier.
“My question is, ‘How much money would have been left on the table if
the Soldier and their Family had known about these benefits?’” Herman
Information is available by calling the ACS at 608-388-3540/3505.