One of our guiding truths here at the Special Operations Association of America (SOAA) is that all members of the SOCOM community are family, regardless of whether they’re Reservists, Guard, or on Active Duty status. It is from this bond that we are demanding that the Department of Defense (DoD) make proving eligibility for Veteran’s benefits simple and straight forward for all members of SOCOM across all components.
Every component of the armed forces should receive an updated DD214 at the end of their deployments. The DD214 is a vital document that proves to the Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) Servicemembers’ eligibility for federal benefits.
Oddly, members of the Reserve Component do not always receive a DD214. The very document that Reservists desperately depend on to receive benefits is not reliably given or updated to thousands of our brothers and sisters in SOCOM. Veterans and their families are currently being left with no options other than tracking all their orders themselves, navigating confusing databases, and often only being able to access records with an active military ID, potentially blocking former Servicemembers who need to access prior sets of orders to present to the VA in order to receive the benefits they rightfully earned.
We cannot allow the men and women of the Reserve Component (RC) to be forced to prove their own service. SOAA is calling on Capitol Hill to change U.S. Code to give members of the RC the same right as their peers to a cumulative and updated federal DD214 after every deployment. We must remove the burden of proving the sacrifices that were made from the shoulders of those that made them.