Our Services

Filing a VA Claim

As the largest organization of combat veterans, the VFW understands  the frustrations that can arise when filing a claim with the Department  of Veterans Affairs. The claims process can be confusing and one that  service members and veterans shouldn’t try to navigate alone. That’s why  the VFW’s National Veterans Service (NVS) was created.

NVS consists of a nationwide network of service officers who are  experts in dealing with the claims process and help thousands of  veterans cut through the bureaucratic red tape every year. They are the  key to success, recovering approximately $1 billion in earned benefits  and compensation for veterans each year.

VFW Service Officers are trained experts, helping veterans develop  their case with ease by reviewing and applying current law, pertinent  legislation, regulations and medical histories. As skilled  professionals, they assist  in filing for disability compensation,  rehabilitation and education programs, pension and death benefits, and  employment and training programs. Furthermore, they won’t hesitate to  request hearings before the VA and the Board of Veterans Appeals to  present oral arguments when needed.

VFW Service Officers are with America’s veterans every step of the  way once they’re ready to file a claim. This is a service the VFW is  proud to offer–free of charge–to anyone seeking assistance with the  claims process. It’s a service our veterans have earned and deserve.


  • Offer research and advice to veterans who wish to handle their own claims.
  • Assist veterans who are filing original claims for compensation and/or
    pension with the Department of Veterans Affairs and complete the required
    VA forms on behalf of the claimant.
  • Assist veterans in reopening claims for service-connected disabilities and
    complete the required VA forms.
  • Follow up on status of claims filed by veterans with the VA Regional Office.
  • File Notice of Disagreement with the VA Regional Office if a veteran
    believes the decision made by the VA was incorrect.
  • Review statements of the case from the VA regarding denials of claim and
    assist veterans with the preparation of responses.
  • Assist veterans or surviving spouses in the preparation of appeals for
    denial of claims and file the appeals with the local VA Regional Office for forwarding to the Board
    of Veterans Appeals in Washington, D.C.
  • Complete VA Forms other than for original claims.
  • Answer/research telephone inquiries regarding medical, death/burial and
    other miscellaneous benefits.

Separation Benefits

The VFW’s Benefits Delivery at Discharge (BDD) program ensures separating and retiring active-duty military personnel  receive assistance in obtaining their VA entitlements and benefits upon  discharge.

BDD representatives guide military personnel through the veterans’  claims process and conduct physical examinations prior to their  separation from active-duty. They are also ready to answer questions  about education and medical benefits, as well as VA home loans.

The VFW has BDD offices located on or near major military  installations across the country. Service members within 180 days of  discharge can contact a VFW BDD representative to get the process  underway.

The VFW’s BDD program launched in 2001 and is a cooperative  initiative with the Pentagon and the Department of Veterans Affairs.

VFW BDD Site Locations and Contacts

Camp Pendleton, CA
Russ McKamey, National Pre-Discharge Claims Representative
Marine & Family Services 
Bldg., 13150 – VA, Room 222
Box 555020 
Camp Pendleton, CA 92055-5020 
Phone: 760 385-0033 
Fax: 760 385-0022
Email:  rmckamey@vfw.org

Using Education Benefits

Today’s veterans can face any number of obstacles while furthering  their education. Taking advantage of all the benefits they’ve earned and  DESERVE shouldn’t be one of them. That’s why the VFW, in conjunction  with the Student Veterans of America (SVA), developed the 1 Student Veteran program. 1 Student Veteran offers direct assistance to student veterans  who have questions or are experiencing problems accessing their their  VA benefits.

The VFW seeks to ensure student veterans receive their benefits in a  timely manner and have a place to turn to if they need help. Our direct  access to VA Regional Offices across the country means that we can work  quickly to provide our student veterans with timely and accurate answers  regarding the complex claims process. Furthermore, our direct access  to education claims adjudicators means that those whose education  benefits have been wrongfully denied, delayed during a transfer from one  school to another or paid in error, will not have to wait the months it  would traditionally take to file a formal appeal.

Veterans who send a message to 1 Student Veteran will receive a reply  from a VFW staff member who specializes in student veteran issues  within 24 hours or the next business day.

No one knows education benefits better than the VFW. After all, we  played a major role in the passage of the 1944 GI Bill of Rights, the  Montgomery GI Bill Act of 1984 and the recent Post-9/11 GI Bill.

Again, today’s student veterans have enough to worry about. The peace  of mind that 1 Student Veteran can immediately work to provide  is just another way we’re able to thank our veterans for all they’ve  sacrificed for our freedom.


Veterans’ Scholarships


The VFW and one of its major supporters, Sport Clips Haircuts, have  again partnered to help our veterans and their families. The VFW’s “Sport Clips Help A Hero Scholarship” will  provide service members and veterans with the financial assistance they  need to complete their educational goals without incurring excessive  student loan debt. It’s just another way to say “thank you” to  those who deserve it the most. Please see below for full details on the  scholarship program and to apply.

See the complete list of 2014 spring semester scholarship recipients here.

Scholarship Details:

  • Scholarships of up to $5,000 will be awarded to qualified applicants
  • Limited to one per family per semester
  • Applications for the 2015 spring semester are now being accepted
  • The deadline to apply for the 2015 spring semester is November 15
  • Scholarships will be awarded for the spring 2015 semester by January 2015
  • Scholarships must be used by the end of the school semester for which the veteran is applying or they will become null and void
  • Scholarships are restricted for tuition and fees only and will be paid directly to accredited schools

Eligible Applicants Must: 

  • Be a citizen of the United States
  • Be retired, honorably discharged, active duty, or a member of the National Guard or Reserve
  • Have completed Basic Training and follow-on training (Advanced Individual Training, Technical school, etc.)
  • Separated with or currently hold a military rank of E-5 or below
  • Demonstrate a need for financial assistance
  • Participate in, be accepted to or currently enrolled in a  VA-approved program or school at an accredited post-secondary  institution
  • If selected, authorize the VFW and Sport Clips, Inc. to announce and  publish award of your scholarship. If awarded a scholarship, the  recipient’s name, city, state, photograph and essay may be used for  promotional purposes by the VFW and Sport Clips, Inc. without further  consent from the recipient

Please click here to apply. Application deadline for spring 2015 scholarships is November 15. 

If attending an apprenticeship/certification  program that is not starting during a traditional semester time frame,  please email HelpAHero@vfw.org for information.

Financial Assistance


As the nation’s largest organization of combat veterans, we  understand the challenges veterans, service members and military  families can face and believe that experiencing financial difficulties  should not be one of them. That’s the premise behind the VFW’s Unmet Needs program.

Unmet Needs is there to help America’s service members who run into  unexpected financial difficulties as a result of deployment or other  military-related activity. The program provides financial aid of up to  $2,500 to assist with basic life needs in the form of a grant -not a  loan- so no repayment is required. To further ease the burden, we pay  the creditor directly.

Since the program’s inception, Unmet Needs has distributed $5 million  in assistance to qualified military families, with nearly half of those  funds going directly toward basic housing needs.

The needs of our veterans, service and their families should never go unmet. Let us offer you a hand up when you need it!

If you or someone you know may qualify for a grant through the VFW Unmet Needs program, please reference the resources below:





The Veterans of Foreign Wars, Post 5384, in Brea, California, supports the veterans and the local community. Our Mission: To foster  camaraderie among United States veterans of overseas conflicts. To serve  our veterans, the military and our communities. To advocate on behalf  of all veterans.

VFW Post 5384, Brea, California - Veterans of Foreign Wars

VFW Post 5384, Brea, California - Veterans of Foreign Wars