The post-9/11 Global War on Terrorism Veteran’s Service Bonus program is taking applications. This year the Legislature passed a Veterans Bill that included a service bonus for eligible Minnesota resident veterans, current active service members, and for certain veterans’ beneficiaries, or veterans’ guardians, conservators or legally appointed personal representatives who served between Sept. 11, 2001, to Aug. 30, 2021.
Minnesota has a long history of recognizing the sacrifices Minnesotans have made to defend our country. State veterans’ bonuses have been awarded for service in World War I, World War II, the Korean War, Vietnam War, Persian Gulf War, and now the Global War on Terrorism.
The Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs (MDVA) is administering the program. The application process opened July 7, and extends until June 30, 2024, unless the funds are exhausted before then. There are three bonus tiers.
The $600 level applies to resident veterans with honorable service in the United States armed forces at any time during the eligibility period for the bonus, but did not receive the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal, or Afghanistan Campaign Medal.
The $1200 level applies to resident veterans that received the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal, or Afghanistan Campaign Medal during the eligibility period.
The $2,000 level applies veterans that would be eligible for the $1,200 level bonus but died as a direct result of a service-connected injury, disease, or condition. In the case of an eligible deceased veteran, the Minnesota Commissioner of Veterans Affairs pays the bonus to the veteran's beneficiary.
Visit the Minnesota Veterans website (https://mn.gov/mdva/resources/familyassistance/911-service-bonus.jsp) for more details. Also, please don’t hesitate to contact your local County Veterans Service Officer. They can assist in reviewing the contents of your DD214 to help determine your eligibility. You may also contact the MDVA call center at (888-546-5838).
As a Minnesotan that received a state bonus for my service in the Vietnam War, it was a special honor to play a small part in rewarding my fellow veterans that served during the Global War on Terrorism. It should be noted that not a single veteran has ever asked or even hinted to me that their service during the Global War on Terrorism merited special recognition.
Our men and women in uniform live by a simple creed, “duty called – duty answered.”