Ohio has a unique way of thanking these recent veterans and those who serve. It’s the Ohio Veterans Bonus, for service given during the times of the Persian Gulf War and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
But the Ohio Veterans Bonus won’t be around forever. The deadline for Persian Gulf War era veterans to apply is Dec. 31, 2013. Veterans of the Iraq War era have until Dec. 31, 2014, to apply. No deadline has been announced for veterans of the Afghanistan War era.
The Ohio Veterans Bonus is open to veterans of the Persian Gulf War era as well as the eras of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, regardless of where they served. However, the amount available is higher to those who served directly in the war zones. It is also open to the next of kin of those who were killed in action or died of disease as a result of in-theater service. The Bonus is not subject to federal or state taxes, and can be used for any purpose.
Specific criteria or award of the Ohio Veterans Bonus is service in the Armed Forces of more than 90 days active duty, not for training, during the periods of the Persian Gulf War and the conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq. For the Persian Gulf, the eligible period is from Aug. 2, 1990, through March 3, 1991; for Afghanistan, from Oct. 7, 2001, through a date to be determined by the President, and for Iraq, from March 19, 2003, through Dec. 31, 2011. Eligible veterans must have been Ohio residents at the time of their entry into the service, and must be Ohio residents currently.
The bonus pays $100 a month to veterans who served in the Persian Gulf theater, or in the countries of Afghanistan or Iraq, up to a maximum of $1,000. For veterans who served elsewhere, the payment is $50 a month up to a $500 maximum. Veterans medically discharged due to injuries sustained in combat can receive $1,000, plus up to $500 for months of service elsewhere. Family members of those killed in action or who died from disease as a result of their in-theater service can receive a bonus of $5,000 plus whatever the service member was eligible for, up to a total of $6,500.
Veterans needing more information or who want to apply can call the Ottawa County Veterans Service Office at 419-898-2089 or toll-free 800-610-8872, or visit the office at 8444 W State Route 163, Oak Harbor.
The Ohio Veterans Bonus continues a tradition of bonuses to reward Ohio veterans that dates back to the Civil War; however, these other war bonuses are now closed.