The men and women of the armed forces have served each of us through military service to our country. The liberties we enjoy today have been won through their sacrifice. Many of our APWU brothers and sisters have served or are currently serving, and we have an obligation to support them.
In an effort to provide additional assistance and to keep our members informed about issues that affect them, the Human Relations Department has created a Veterans' Assistance and Resource Committee. The committee has been tasked to provide updates, training resources, information, understanding and guidance. Inquiries should be directed through APWU local and state organizations to the Human Relations Department. (Please note that the committee does not have the authority to address contractual issues.)
Military Leave for Federal Employees
The U.S Office of Personnel management has updated its military leave guidance for federal agencies:
Know Your Military Leave Rights Before Deployment
The Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) protects service members' reemployment rights when returning from a period of service in the uniformed services, including those called up from the reserves or National Guard, and prohibits employer discrimination based on military service or obligation. The U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) Veterans’ Employment and Training Service (VETS) administers USERRA.
USPS ELM 517
- Section 517 of the USPS Employee and Labor Relations Manual (ELM) describes postal workers military leave and re-employment rights.
Veterans and Agent Orange
- Questions and Answers About Viet Nam Era Veterans and Agent Orange
- U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Agent Orange Information
Health Benefits and Life Insurance Coverage During Military Service
- This USPS instruction to postal managers outlines health benefits and life insurance coverage for Postal Service employees absent on leave without pay (LWOP) to perform active duty military service.
The organizations listed below provide a wealth of resources to veterans on a variety of concerns.
APWU is partnering with the Veterans Administration to introduce Make the Connection, a public awareness campaign that connects veterans, their friends and family members with information, resources and solutions to issues affecting their lives. The campaign offers VA-approved treatment and resources. It also provides hundreds of video testimonials from veterans who overcame various conditions and traumas, and offers information on how to recognize symptoms and where to seek treatment. [read more]
The American Legion is a patriotic, mutual-help organization that provides community service and assistance to all veterans who served at a time when our nation was at war.
Department of Veterans Affairs (known as the VA) provides information on veterans’ issues, particularly on benefits: compensation and pension, education, vocational rehabilitation, home loans, and more. The agency offers special programs for homeless, minority, and female veterans. Applications for benefits are available online.
Disabled American Veterans provides assistance to veterans who were disabled during time of war or armed conflict. DAV is dedicated to a single purpose: To build better lives for America’s disabled veterans and their families. Their Web site offers a legislative program and volunteer opportunities.
Military.com connects U.S. Service Members, military families and veterans to all the benefits of service.
The Military Order of the Purple Heart is a congressionally chartered veterans’ organization exclusively for veterans wounded in combat. It publishes “Issues Affecting Veterans Today” and offers help with VA claims and military records requests.
The National Gulf War Resource Center is an international coalition providing information, support, and referrals for people concerned with the complexities of Persian Gulf War issues, especially Gulf War illnesses and service members held prisoner or missing in action.
The Paralyzed Veterans of America is a congressionally chartered veterans’ service organization that has developed a unique expertise on a wide variety of issues involving the special needs of veterans who have experienced spinal cord injury or dysfunction.
Sons and Daughters In Touch help locate, unite and provide support to family members of those who died or remain missing as a result of the Vietnam War, and support to those who have experienced similar loss.
USO’s mission (United Service Organizations) is to provide morale-boosting, welfare, and recreational services to uniformed military personnel and their families.
Veterans of Foreign Wars assist our veterans and provide community service through programs and special projects that include citizenship education, youth development, and military assistance. The VFW offers news and informational resources, and its National Legislative Service office closely monitors legislation affecting veterans.
Vietnam Veterans of America is an organization dedicated to Vietnam-era veterans and their families. VVA provides a listing of service representatives by state as well as VVA Guides, which include: Agent Orange, VA Claims and Appeals, Post-traumatic Stress Disorder, and VVA’s Guide to Veterans Preference. The organization also has a Government Relations page, which includes a Legislative Action Center and a locator page designed to help veterans find fellow service members.