Desert Shield/Storm vets urged to apply for bonus
State Rep. Jake Wheatley, D-Allegheny, is reminding his fellow veterans of operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm they qualify for a special one-time payment in honor of their service.
To qualify for the bonus, veterans must have served on active duty in the Persian Gulf Theater of Operations between Aug. 2, 1990 and Aug. 31, 1991.
“This bonus is intended to honor those who volunteered and fought in the first Gulf War to liberate Kuwait and force Saddam Hussein’s troops back to Iraq,” said Rep. Wheatley, a U.S. Marine combat veteran of Operation Desert Storm who received the Combat Action Ribbon, National Defense Service Medal and the Kuwaiti Liberation Medal. “I urge my fellow veterans who served in these operations to apply today so they don’t miss out on this ‘thank you’ for their service.”
The program pays $75 per month for qualifying, active-duty service members, up to a $525 maximum. The deadline to apply is Aug. 31.
For personnel whose death was related to illness or injury received in the line of duty in operations Desert Shield or Desert Storm, there is an additional $5,000 available to the surviving family. Service members who were declared prisoners of war may also be eligible for an additional $5,000.
So far, more than 11,000 Persian Gulf veterans have applied for the bonus program since its start in 2008.
Pennsylvania’s Department of Military and Veterans Affairs is also asking veterans who might have previously been denied the bonus to reapply. New applications are required to reopen a claim.
To qualify, the service member must have:
Served with the U.S. Armed Forces, a reserve component of the U.S. Armed Forces or the Pa. National Guard.
Served on active duty in the Persian Gulf Theater of Operations between the period from Aug. 2, 1990, until Aug. 31, 1991, and received the Southwest Asia Service Medal.
Been a legal resident of Pennsylvania at the time of active duty service.
Been discharged from active duty under honorable conditions, if not currently on active duty.
Received the Southwest Asia Service Medal.
For detailed instructions on how to apply, visit http://www.persiangulfbonus.state.pa.us.