Reminder to Veterans, 
     You should never pay an individual or an organization to file your VA disability or pension claim.  There are organizations and individuals that will make you big promises for a high fee.  This is against the law ... this is criminal and if you hear of people doing this they should be reported to the VA Office of the Inspector General.  

     Also, make sure you have an Accredited Representative to help you file claims.  Gillespie County Veterans Service Officer, Tami King, is Accredited with the Texas Veterans Commission, VFW and American Legion, and National Association of County Veterans Service Officers. 

     Please share this information with other Veterans who may fall victim to these criminals.

VAMC Kerrville Shuttle to VAMC Audie Murphy, San Antonio - Reservations Required 

If you need to reserve the shuttle that will take you from VAMC Kerrville to VAMC Audie Murphy and back, you must make a reservation.   You should call the Travel Office at (830)792-2418 for a reservation.  
The shuttle leaves the Kerrville campus at 7:30 am, 11:00 am, 1:00 pm and 3:00 pm, and the return shuttle times from the Audie Murphy campus are the same.   You must arrive at least 15 minutes prior to the shuttle. 

Benefits Changes

All Veterans and Surviving Spouse are invited to attend one of the two upcoming Veterans Benefits Seminars:  
Thursday, February 6, 2020 at 4 pm at the Harper American Legion Hall.  Limited to 30 attendees and RSVP date is: Tuesday, February 4.  
Tuesday, February 11, 2020 at 6 pm at The Villages of Windcrest in Fredericksburg.  Limited to 45 attendees and RSVP date is: Thursday, February 6.  

For more information, click here.  

Effective 1 Jan 2020: DOD Expanding Access to Commissaries, Military Exchange and Recreation Facilities for Disabled Veterans:  
Effective 1 Jan 2020, Veterans  with a Service Connected Disability, Purple Heart Recipients, Former Prisoners of War are eligible for access to Commissaries, Military Exchanges and MWR resale facilities.  To get onto base you MUST HAVE: a VA HEALTH ID CARD.  Honorable Discharged Veterans also are eligible to shop at military exchanges online.  See the attached information on how to apply and eligibility requirements.

click here for information ...

VA CONTRACTED URGENT CARE CLINIC IN FREDERICKSBURG:    MAIN STREET URGENT CARE, 1426 E Main St Suite 300 Fredericksburg, TX 78624, phone 830-997-9995.  The Urgent Care Benefit is for Veterans who are enrolled in VA Health Care and have been seen within 2 years by a Primary VA physician.   You may have a COPAY for this benefit.  See the attached flyer for additional information on how to use the benefit and what your COPAY will be.  If you are NOT ENROLLED IN VA Health Care, you DO NOT QUALIFY FOR THE BENEFIT.  

click here for information

Key Messages on the Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act of 2109 (Pl116-23) Agent Orange Claims:   This is the latest release from the VA about the new Blue Water Navy rules starting on 1 Jan 2020.  Yes they will have people working on 1 Jan to start processing the claims that are already in the stack.  A couple of things to take note of that are not real clear in the attached message/talking points.   
• The veteran or surviving spouse MUST file a claim for exposure to herbicide toxins. They must list the current diagnosis, the ship they were on and when they were on it, to include the location if they know, and where they have or are receiving treatment for the claimed condition(s) 
• The dates for the Korea DMZ have been extended, all of the other current rules still apply the VA just extend the dates of exposure 
• The only thing the VA did for veterans in Thailand is add the condition of spina Bifida for their children if they meet all of the current requirements for tactical herbicide exposure at/on/or near the fence line in Thailand Airbases. 
• Waco RO will be one of the six national ROs that will get extra training and people to handle the development, rating, and promulgation of these claims 
If you believe you meet the criteria for a Blue Water Navy claim or you know of a Surviving Spouse that was denied DIC for a service connected death, please call for an appointment so we can direct you as to what you need to bring us for documentation.  

click here for information

Open Season for FEDVIP Dental and Vision Coverage Starts Soon:  The Federal Benefits Open Season begins on Nov. 11 and ends on Dec. 9. If you're eligible and considering enrolling in a dental or vision plan through the Federal Employees Dental and Vision Insurance Program (FEDVIP), you can now review 2020 plans and rates. If you're currently enrolled in a FEDVIP plan and don't want to make a change, you don't have to do anything. You'll automatically be enrolled in a 2020 plan, but you should still check that you understand any changes to your plan and plan costs. Read the full article.  Sign up for TRICARE email updates at  Connect with TRICARE on Facebook and Twitter at and  

CaptionCall Telephone program is designed for Veterans who have an APPROVED VA SERVICE CONNECTED DISABILITY FOR HEARING LOSS.   The phone is FREE and has a $250.00 value.   CaptionCall was designed specifically for people with hearing loss who are not able to effectively use the phone without the assistance of captions.  The CaptionCall phone displays captions of what your callers say on an easy to read touch screen built right into the phone. It also has powerful amplification (up to 121 dB without distortion) and custom audio settings to help you hear everything you can on the phone.  A skilled and friendly CaptionCall representative takes care of the installation in your home or office and teaches you exactly how the phone works. No worries about setting up the technology and no more struggling to understand the voice on the other end of your calls.  No landline?  Not a problem, all that is required is high speed internet.  CaptionCall has solutions.  If you are interested in applying for this phone, please CALL for an APPOINTMENT at the Gillespie County Veterans Service Office at (830) 997-3758.  Our office will complete your application, and County Veterans Service Officers can certify your disability.   We also have a sample phone set up in our office for you to see.  

Click here for CaptionCall Brochure and information. 


On-Base Shopping Eligibility Expands January 1:  Beginning in the new year more than 3 million service-connected disabled veterans with VA ratings from zero to 90 percent will be authorized on-base exchange and commissary shopping privileges, as well as access to certain MWR facilities, but you must have a VA-issued Veteran Health Identification Card, or VHIC, to gain access. The VHIC is issued only to veterans who are enrolled in the VA health care system. You can apply online, or in person at your local VA medical facility. Family members of the newly eligible veterans will not be authorized to shop, but will be permitted on-base as guests of the VHIC-carrying veteran. Veterans who do not reside near a military installation can still shop online at the four military exchanges. Search for stores at ShopMyExchange, Marine Corps Exchange, Navy Exchange, and Coast Guard Exchange. Caregivers will be processed differently, initially, since they have no military or VA affiliation. The VA will post a memo to for caregivers to be used for access at the front gate, along with a driver’s license. This process is expected to transition to a caregiver-type ID card, which will have scanning swipe capability. One hundred percent disabled veterans, their spouses, and eligible dependents already have access because they are issued military identification cards.

June 2019:  Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veteran Act:  On Wednesday June 25, 2019 President Trump signed the "Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veteran Act".  This legislation will extend disability benefits to about 90,000 veterans who served off Vietnam’s coast during the Vietnam war.  The Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act of 2019 will extend the presumption of exposure to toxic defoliants such as Agent Orange to these service members. 
Key parts of the Act:   
a. Defines "Offshore" of Vietnam for the purposes of the benefit which is not more than 12 nautical miles seaward of a line commencing on the southwestern demarcation line of the waters of Vietnam and Cambodia and intersecting the following points - see the attached act.
b. Extends benefits to veterans exposed to Agent Orange on the Korean  Demilitarized Zone (DMZ), during the period beginning: on September 1, 1967, and ending on August 31, 1971.
c. Expands benefits to those suffering from spina bifida who had a parent who served in Thailand during the Vietnam war and were exposed to an herbicide (Agent Orange)  
The new law will pay for the presumptive benefits change — expected to total $1.1 billion over 10 years — with a new fee on certain VA home loans. Disabled veterans will be exempt from the extra cost. 

Click here to view the Act Document. 

Click here to view List of Presumptive Disabilities and the Specifics of the Act.  

Click here to read the VA Press Release - VA will not make decisions on these claims till after 01/01/2020. 

Vapo Propane offers 10% Discount to active duty military / veterans / retired military in Gillespie County area.  Contact Cindy at at 1201 E. Main St in person or via phone at (830) 997-2659 and (800) 460-8276.  

May 2019:  Information from the South Texas Veterans Health Care System:  Under the VA MISSION Act of 2018, Veterans can expect a variety of improvements to community care.  Eligibility criteria will be different, a new urgent care benefit will be provided, and improved customer service.  Learn more by reading the following documents: 

VA MISSION Act for Veterans 101 Visual Document

VA MISSION Act Frequently Asked Questions and Answers 

Veteran Community Care – Eligibility Information 

Veteran Community Care - General Information 

Enhanced VA Options Under the MISSION Act Brochure 


January 2019:  Blue Water Navy Veterans Court Decision - Urgent to Submit Intent to File:  Blue Water Veterans must have actually stepped foot on the land of Vietnam or served on its inland waterways anytime between January 9, 1962 and May 7, 1975 to be presumed to have been exposed to herbicides when claiming service-connection for diseases associated with Agent Orange exposure.  Some offshore vessels docked to the shore of Vietnam, operated in Vietnam's close coastal waters and sent smaller vessels ashore, or conducted operations on the inland waterways of Vietnam between January 9, 1962 and May 7, 1975. Evidence confirmed through military records must show that the Veteran was aboard one of these ships.  Blue Water Veterans who did not set foot in Vietnam or serve aboard ships that operated on the inland waterways of Vietnam anytime between January 9, 1962 and May 7, 1975 must show on a factual basis that they were exposed to herbicides during military service in order to receive disability compensation for diseases associated with Agent Orange exposure.

1. Review the attached list of Agent Orange Disabilities.  If you have been DIAGNOSED with one or more disabilities, continue to the next steps. 
2. Fill out the Blue Water Navy Worksheet.
3. Fill out the attached VA form 21-22 and VA form 21-0966
(this will lock in your effective date). 
4. Call 830-997-3758 for an appointment to fax in the above 2 documents and obtain the DBQ's (Disability Benefits Questionnaires) for your private Physician to complete.  
5. Documents must be faxed in January OR if approved for the disability you will lose a month's pay if it is received February 1 or after.  
6. You will then be scheduled an appointment (when you have the physician documents completed) to process your formal claim.  

January 2019:  Delta Dental VA Dental Insurance Program is available to Veterans who are enrolled in VA Health Care, and if a Veteran's dependents are eligible for ChampVA health insurance, then the dependents are also eligible for this dental insurance.  For more information follow the links below:  




October 2018:  TRDP-The Retiree Dental Plan through Delta Dental goes away on 31 Dec 2018.  Multiple new plans are now available.  If you have a local dentist, please make sure you check with him/her if your selected new dental insurance is accepted before you elect it.  Open Season to Enroll is:  November 12 - December 10, 2018.  If you do not enroll during this time frame, you have to wait till next year during open season.  To decide which plan you want to enroll in for 2019, click below for the Link to TriCare Benefeds and FEDVIP plans and premiums.  

Click here for TriCareBenefeds Link

June 2018:  For Military Retirees - The (SSIA) Special Survivor Indemnity Allowance for Surviving Spouses is now a permanent benefit paid at $310.00 per month plus cost of living increase.  This pertains to Surviving Spouses who are entitled to receive DIC (VA serviced connected death benefit) and it offsets the SBP.  The $310.00 is a consolation prize because you cannot receive both.  

Click here for DFAS Retiree June Newsletter

June 2018:  Eligibility for an annual clothing allowance if you use a prosthetic or orthopedic appliance and/or medication for a service connected skin condition that causes permanent damage to your outer garments.  If you’re eligible, and you haven’t yet applied for this year, you need to act fast! If you have already submitted your application, then no further action is required on your part. Your application should be submitted on or before August 1, 2018. To apply, submit (in person, by mail, or fax) VA Form 10-8678, Application for Annual Clothing Allowance, to the Prosthetic and Sensory Aids Service at your local VA medical center.    Additional information on this benefit is available at

March 2018:  VA Health Care Travel Pay depending on VA Service Connected disability.  Who is eligible: Veteran must be enrolled in VA Health Care.  If you have VA Service Connected disability rated at 30%-100%, you may get travel pay for all medical appointments (labs, doctor appointments, etc.).  If you have VA Service Connected disability rated at or less than 30% (0%-20%), you may get travel pay for only service connected medical appointments.  Round trip Mileage is based on your home (not mailing PO Box address).  If you have filed a Service Connected Disability Claim, you will have a Disability Medical Exams (enrollment in VA Health care not required).  You will receive round trip mileage reimbursement for this exam.  For Veterans enrolled in VA Health Care, you should have a VA Health Photo ID Card to apply for your travel reimbursement at the kiosks located in the VA health facility or you must go to the Travel Office at the VA Health facility to apply for the reimbursement.  

click here for information


October 2017:  Retired Military:  Changes to the Tricare Checklist:  

click here for information 

September 2017:  VA Education Benefits:  If you are using Chapter 33 (Post-9/11 GI Bill) or Chapter 35 (Survivors and Dependents Educational Assistance Program): As long as your enrollment was submitted by your school, no further action is necessary to receive continued payment.  If you are using Chapters 30 or 1606 (Montgomery GI Bill) or the Reserve Educational Assistance Program (REAP): Continue to verify your attendance until further notice as if your school did not close.  This ensures continuation of your payments. Students may verify attendance using the WAVE website or by calling 1-877-VACERT.  If your school is open but you are unable to attend due to this event (e.g., displaced from your home), please contact your School Certifying Official as soon as possible to prevent possible overpayments.   
Please contact the Education Call Center at 1-888-442-4551 (Monday - Friday, 7 a.m. - 6 p.m. CST) for any questions about your GI Bill benefits. If you are unable to contact by phone, you can send a secure inquiry on the website using the “Submit a Question” button. 


August 2017:  Disaster Assistance for Veterans - Benefits Information Brochure available.  

click here for information

August 2017:  Assistance for Veterans with hearing loss to obtain a free Cap Tel Captioned Telephone.  The link below is the certification link to be certified by your physician or audiologist:  

Heroes with Hearing Loss Link

The link to Cap Tel:

The link to Heroes with Hearing Loss, resource site:


August 2017:  For Military Retirees- There are currently no changes projected to Tricare for Life (for age 65 and older).  Read the attached article about the changes to Tricare Standard and Tricare Prime for FY 2018 & 2019. 

click here for information

June 2017:  Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers:  for Post 9/11 Veterans who have a serious injury that happened in the line of duty after 9/11/2001.  It is a program that may pay family caregivers to care for the Veteran.  

click here for information

March 2017:  VA's rule establishes presumption of service connection for diseases associated with exposure to contaminants in water supply at Camp Lejeune.  If anyone needs assistance with filing a claim, contact 830-997-3758. 

click here for information


February 2017:  Texas Veterans Land Board raises land loan limit to $150,000

click here for information


February 2017:  VA Health Eligibility Qualifications and New Prescription Copay Rates as of 27 February 2017.  

click here for information


January 2017:  New VA Disability Presumptives for Camp Lejeune Contaminated Water / Submit Claims Now.

Click here for press release. 

To clarify:  This affects the water sources of Camp Lejeune which includes MCAS New River, satellite camps and base housing areas.  
1.  If you served there during the dates specified, you need to find proof that you served there for 30 days or more of CUMULATIVE days of active duty (5 days, 10 days, 15 days or continuous 30 days).  Find copies of orders, training certificates, award citations, etc.  Put a copy of the PROOF in your file with my office.   This may require ordering your service records from the National Archives.
2.  If you have a diagnosis of one of the 8 disabilities listed, then the above info applies (find proof of service) and then contact me for an appointment so that I can give you the appropriate (DBQ) Disability Benefits Questionnaire for your physician to complete with supporting private treatment records.  


January 2017:  DoD Announces New Outreach Efforts to Veterans Regarding Discharges and Military Records

click here for information


December 2016:  Linked article outlines the latest change in the law that governs DFAS and the military taxing medical separation from the service due to combat related injuries since 1991.  Anyone who was separated from the military due to a combat related injury since 1991 was taxed by DFAS at the 25% rate, and they should NOT have been, congress has ordered DFAS to contact the veterans and inform them how to seek relief.  The VA sometimes recouped the money that was severance pay, but was not supposed to for combat injuries/conditions per the PEB/MEB/IDES paperwork.

click here for information...

September 2016:  VA Plan to Expand Disability Benefits Re: Proposed presumptive disabilities for Veterans who were stationed at Camp Lejeune, NC for at least 30 days during 1 Aug 1953 to 31 Dec 1987.

click here for information...

August 2016:  VA Provides Service Dog Benefits to Veterans with Mental Health Disorders.

Gillespie County
Veterans Service Office
102 E San Antonio St
Suite B-2
Fredericksburg, Texas 78624

Telephone: (830) 997-3758
Fax: (830) 997-3245

Located: Annex 2 Bldg
(former clinic building)