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The Cost of Being a Peacetime Veteran

A peacetime veteran is any veteran who did not serve during the following periods: 1. World War II (1941-1946); 2. Korean War (1950-1955); 3. Vietnam War (1961-1975); or 4. Gulf War (1990-present).

Unless they can prove financial destitution, peacetime veterans are not eligible for free Veterans Administration medical care.  Such a distinction can spell financial ruin for a veteran family in need of adequate health care, and, without access to affordable care, many veterans could opt not to seek treatment for serious medical conditions.  Peacetime veterans are, however, eligible for property tax exemptions, business and home loan assistance, help at state-run veteran centers, and other benefits that vary by state.

6 million out of more than 22 million veterans fall into the category of peacetime veterans, including those who served in Grenada, Panama, and Lebanon.  According to USA Today, a group called the American Cold War Veterans is pushing for a memorial or medal to commemorate the service of peacetime veterans.