MOUNT VERNON — Ohio veterans of the Persian Gulf, Afghanistan and Iraq conflicts may apply for a veteran’s bonus starting today.
The bonus, available to veterans who were residents of Ohio when they left and returned from serving during those conflicts are eligible to apply.
Applications are available online at www.DVS.ohio.gov. along with information about eligibility and benefits available.
Applications should also be available at the Knox County Veterans Service Office, according to Director Kevin Henthorn.
“We should be able to have some hard copies here in the office today,” Henthorn told the News this morning. “You can apply yourself online but we will be here to assist any veteran who wants it. We will probably just fill out the application online while we have them here in the office.”
Besides the Ohio residency requirement, veterans may be eligible if they served between Aug. 2, 1990, and March 3, 1991, or any time since Oct. 7, 2001. The website has an eligibility tool to help veterans determine their eligibility. Bonuses range from a maximum of $1,000 to veterans and up to $6,500 available to family members of deceased, eligible veterans. The money for the program will come from a $200 million bond issue approved last November by Ohio voters.
The program is nothing really new and comes from a tradition of Ohioians thanking their fellow citizens for serving their country in time of war.
“This goes all the way back to Civil War times, I believe,” Henthorn said. “Every wartime era has had a veterans’ bonus program of some type or another. This has usually been funded through bond issues. This isn’t something new. Even in Vietnam we had one although some of these were not highly publicized. Since the Persian Gulf War, we have not had one of these programs for those conflicts. Other states have done this but up to now, Ohio hasn’t. Really, it’s just a way to thank those veterans, or their families, for the service they rendered to the country and the state.”
Veterans seeking assistance in applying, or who need further information, can call the Knox County Veterans Service Office at 393-6742.