Wyoming State Veteran’s Benefits 2021

The state of Wyoming, through legislation, state offices, and the Department of Veteran Affairs, provides services and support to its military community in the following areas:

  • Housing
  • Financial Assistance
  • Employment
  • Education
  • Recreation
  • Driver and Vehicle Licensing
  • Burial

Wyoming’s military community as of Dec. 31, 2019 consisted of:

  • 3,049 active-duty service members
  • 1,137 active-duty spouses
  • 2,301 active-duty children
  • 3,300 National Guard and reserve members
  • 1,620 National Guard and reserve spouses
  • 2,830 National Guard and reserve children

Veteran Housing Programs

Veterans’ Home of Wyoming

700 Veterans Ln, Buffalo, WY 82834

This home is located on the historic site of Fort McKinney. The federal government donated the grounds to the State of Wyoming to be used in the care of veteran residents. It was built in the summer and fall of 1878. The home was established in 1898 with the first member being housed at Fort D. A. Russell (now F.E. Warren AFB) in Cheyenne, Wyoming. The home was moved to its present location in 1903 and was known until the mid-1980s as the Wyoming Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Home. The name was changed to the Veterans’ Home of Wyoming during the mid-1980s to include all veteran groups. It is located three miles west of Buffalo, one-half mile south of Highway 16, at the base of the majestic Big Horn Mountains. Clear Creek from the Big Horns runs through the center of the area surrounding the home and supplies the fresh water for the resident trout pond.

VHW provides a secure, independent lifestyle for veterans who voluntarily seek admission. VHW offers what is known as “domiciliary care,” which is similar to assisted living care and includes food, shelter and other support. Residents are able to maintain their own basic activities of daily living, but generally face challenges that prevent them from earning a living through employment. VHW offers more than just room and board; we strive to be a community of caring people. There are two-room suites for married couples and private rooms for single residents for a total of 117 beds. There is plenty of transportation to and from VHW to get residents where they need to go. Some residents have their own cars. All residents are free to come and go as they please.

Services And Programs

Primary Care Provider: A primary care provider is provided to see residents for medical issues during the week at the facility. The primary care provider will refer to outside specialists or Veterans Administration providers as needed. The primary care provider leads our interdisciplinary care team and is responsible for the overall medical care in the facility.

Nursing Care: Nursing Services staff members provide care to our residents on a twenty-four hour a day, seven day a week basis. Residents are supervised for medication administration and treatments. Nursing Services also coordinates medical appointments with the Sheridan Veterans Administration Medical Center and other outside providers.

Social and Recreational Services: Staff members provide our residents with opportunities and means for socialization, recreation, creativity, personal growth and entertainment. Our social worker is a licensed clinical social worker and provides individual counseling sessions on a scheduled basis with residents.

Dietary Services: Dietary Services staff members provide quality meals for our residents. Our dietary department is supervised by a registered dietitian, who monitors resident diets, menus, and other dietary operations. Our dietary manager supervises meal preparation and works with our residents on their individual diets. Snacks, supplements and other specialized services are completed as ordered by our primary care provider. Training is provided to help our diabetic residents count carbohydrates in addition to exercise.

Laundry Services: Washing machines and dryers are provided for those residents who want to care for their own personal clothing. The facility staff ensures bed linens and towels are laundered.

Physical Fitness and/or Wellness: Each veteran resident is encouraged to be active. A walking program has been established by individuals and an organized group have walking activities monitored by the nursing staff. Stationary bikes, a treadmill, an elliptical, and weight lifting equipment are available for use on site. Residents also have access to the Johnson County YMCA three times each week.

Financial Counseling: The Veterans’ Home of Wyoming provides a “resident trust account,” which is similar to a mini branch bank, within the facility. We are able to deposit Social Security and Veterans Administration monthly benefits into individual resident accounts. The staff helps residents manage their individual spending needs and budgets. The Resident Trust Accounts posts interest each month to the individual accounts.

Veterans Benefits Coordinator: The Veterans’ Home of Wyoming also employs a veterans benefits coordinator who helps Johnson and Sheridan county veterans and families of veterans learn about benefits.

Support Services: The Housekeeping Department maintains the cleanliness of the facility. VHW provides personal laundry services. The Maintenance Department staff care for the 12 buildings, 30-acre grounds and equipment in a safe and well-kept manner.

Chaplain Services: VHW contracts with a local minister to provide spiritual support to the veterans as well as services two Sundays a month and bible study discussions. Other religious groups are also invited to visit our facility and residents.

Amenities & Activities

Amenities include Private room, Cable television, Library with current magazines and newspapers, Computer lab, Exercise equipment, Transportation or assigned parking for your own personal vehicle, Activity areas (woodshop, paint room, greenhouse, exercise room), Chapel, Fishing pond, and Walking paths. The VHW has two full time employees who plan a full slate of activities both away from the facility as well as within. Residents are invited to attend exercise classes and participate in healthy activities, which include hiking in the surrounding foothills, walks on our footpaths, bike riding, or using our exercise machines. Our beautiful grounds include a fishing pond where residents can fish or relax. Many people enjoy watching the deer, antelope, geese, and an assortment of other birds and animals that regularly visit the location. Picnics are regularly planned down by our fishpond or in our adjacent gazebo. Residents are encouraged to visit the many historical places Wyoming offers, as well as to enjoy the nearby Bighorn Mountains during fishing trips, scenic drives or picnics. Weather permitting, daily outings are planned to visit local restaurants, coffee shops, as well as the Senior Center and YMCA.

Admissions

To be eligible for admission to the Veterans’ Home of Wyoming, applicants must meet the following criteria:

  • Unable to earn a living by reason of wounds, disease, old age or other infirmities; or have no adequate means of support or are already domiciled in Wyoming.
  • A dependent of a qualified veteran if admission is deemed proper.
  • Have valid in-state residence at the time of application, or the intent to permanently reside in the state if less than one year of state residence. The resident must not be in transit; temporary or seasonal residency is not acceptable.
  • Persons who are not veterans or dependents of veterans may be admitted, if less than 90 percent of the home’s capacity is occupied and a veteran’s dependent application is not pending. Individuals must also be unable to earn a living with no adequate means of support and/or domiciled in this state.
  • In all admission decisions, the facility will give preference to veterans first and their accompanying dependents second. The facility will have final authority for approving or disapproving all applications.

Veterans interested in joining the VHW community are encouraged to call VHW at 307-684-5511. They can request a pre-admission packet to fill out and return with copies of DD-214, recent history and physical, income verification, proof of Medicare A, B or D, and other documents. After these materials are returned to VHW, the potential resident is invited to VHW for a two-day trial stay. This step gives both the resident and facility a chance to see if the admission will be a fit on a full-time basis. Following the two-day stay, the facility will give permission to admit, ask for further information, or deny the admission.

Residents’ fees are based on an individual’s ability to pay. Presently the average (estimated) monthly fee is $3,823 for a shared room and $4,587 for a private room. Services included in the monthly maintenance fee include but are not limited to a furnished private room, meals, laundry services, nursing services, social services, activities, and weekday transportation. This compares to Buffalo’s $4,225 average cost of assisted living and the nationwide cost of $4,000.

For more information on the state Veteran Housing Programs contact the Wyoming Veterans Commission website at: http://wyomilitary.wyo.gov/veterans/commission Wyoming Veterans Commission, 5410 Bishop Blvd., Cheyenne, WY 82009 Tel : (307) 777-8152 Fax:(307) 777-8150 “OR” refer to https://health.wyo.gov/aging/veteranshome Wyoming Department of Health website

Skilled Nursing Homes

Wyoming is one of two states that do not have a state-funded nursing home for veterans. Instead, veterans in need of skilled nursing services in Wyoming receive those services from the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (VA) in Sheridan, Cheyenne, the Wyoming Retirement Center in Basin, Wyoming (which also services non-veterans), or from private providers. In addition, veterans can receive services through the Acquired Brain Injury (ABI) or Long Term Care (LTC) waivers, although those waivers are typically capped (215 and 1,750 respectively) and have waiting lists.

Wyoming Retirement Center

890 Highway 20 South, Basin, WY 82410

Tel: (307) 568-2431 Fax: (307) 568-3887

The Wyoming Retirement Center (WRC) provides skilled nursing care to residents with mental health, dementia and medical needs with the goal of stabilizing and helping residents reach their highest functional level. WRC is located in Basin, at the western base of the beautiful Big Horn Mountains. Basin is 30 miles north of Worland on US Highway 20 and just 10 miles south of Greybull. Community groups, churches and individual volunteers provide services to help residents. The 47-acre grounds at WRC offer a beautiful location near the Big Horn River. A high quality of life and care is the center’s goal for each resident. Twenty-four hour nursing; regularly scheduled physician visits; and available physical, occupational and speech therapy all help residents regain or maintain maximal independence and health recovery.

As a nursing care facility, WRC provides long-term care to residents who have medical conditions that require 24-hour per day nursing services under professional direction. WRC is certified by Medicare and Wyoming Medicaid as a long-term, convalescent and respite care facilityand is part of the Wyoming Department of Health’s Aging Division. Each resident is served three meals a day and between-meal snacks or beverages. All meals are planned to provide maximum potential nutritional value. The morning, noon and evening meals are available in the central dining room. Residents unable to go to the dining room are provided with personalized eating arrangements.

WRC employs two full-time activity therapists and an activity aide to coordinate recreational activities for residents. Some programs are geared specifically for entertainment, while others are planned to help support rehabilitation goals. WRC encourages all residents to participate as extensively as possible in activity programs and to continue with their personal hobbies or interests. Activities include bingo, coffee shop, outings to Medicine Lodge, and birthday celebrations. In the summer the activities department plans several picnics and fishing trips. Several trips have made to the Heart Mountain Relocation Center and the Veterans Memorial in Cody. We are active with local school sports, including football and basketball games. Each month we shop for the residents’ personal needs, allowing some choice of snacks and beverages.

Various religious activities are conducted by community spiritual leaders, including two weekly services in the WRC chapel. Several local church leaders regularly visit individual residents. As a service to residents, WRC offer a personal trust account service for each individual. The trust account can be established at the option of the new resident and/or family. If the resident chooses to take advantage of the trust account, the money can be deposited into this account in the name of the resident for personal use. This is an interest-bearing account. WRC employs a full staff of laundry personnel.

All linen and bedding items are washed on a routine basis. The personal washable clothing of each resident is routinely laundered. Each resident is encouraged to maintain a high standard of grooming. The nursing staff will provide basic hair care needs. A convenient, affordable in-house beauty/barber shop is available for specialized hair care on scheduled days. For additional information contact the Wyoming Department of Health Tel: (307) 777-7656 or (866) 571-094.

Homeless Veteran’s Housing

VA’s specialized programs for homeless Veterans serve hundreds of thousands of homeless and at-risk Veterans each year. Independently and in collaboration with federal and community partners, VA programs provide Veterans with housing solutions, employment opportunities, health care, justice- and reentry-related services and more. Learn more about these programs below and at VA’s Programs for At-Risk Veterans and Their Families page.

VA’s has a collaborative program with U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development-VA Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH). It combines HUD housing vouchers with VA supportive services to help Veterans who are homeless and their families find and sustain permanent housing. Through public housing authorities, HUD provides rental assistance vouchers for privately owned housing to Veterans who are eligible for VA health care services and are experiencing homelessness. VA case managers may connect these Veterans with support services such as health care, mental health treatment and substance use counseling to help them in their recovery process and with their ability to maintain housing in the community. Among VA homeless continuum of care programs, HUD-VASH enrolls the largest number and largest percentage of Veterans who have experienced long-term or repeated homelessness. As of Sept. 30, 2015, HUD had allocated more than 78,000 vouchers to help house Veterans across the country. For More Information refer to

For very low-income Veterans, VA’s Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) program provides case management and supportive services to prevent the imminent loss of a Veteran’s home or identify a new, more suitable housing situation for the individual and his or her family; or to rapidly re-house Veterans and their families who are homeless and might remain homeless without this assistance. Refer to https://www.va.gov/homeless/SSVF for more information.

Financial Assistance Programs

Wyoming Veterans Tax Exemption

The exemption applies to taxes on a Veteran’s primary residence lowering the assessed value by $3,000. The $800 cap was removed in 2007. Veterans should check with their County Assessor each year prior to the 4th Monday of May deadline as the reapplication process may vary. If the exemption is not used on property, it may be applied to a vehicle’s licensing fee. Veterans must be residents of Wyoming three or more years prior to claiming the tax exemption and must have a DD 214 or equivalent from their branch of service. Additionally, one of the following must apply:

  • Served in the Armed Forces during one of the following periods:

    World War II December 7, 1941 thru December 31, 1946

    Korean War June 27, 1950 thru January 31, 1955

    Vietnam War February 28, 1961 thru May 7, 1975

OR

  • Must have served overseas during an armed conflict and received an Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal or equivalent.

OR

  • Be a disabled Veteran with a compensable service connected disability as certified by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs or a branch of the Armed Forces of the United States. VA or DOD agency disability letter required.

OR

  • Be the surviving spouse of a qualifying Veteran who resides in Wyoming and does not remarry.

Applying exemption to vehicles

If the veterans’ tax exemption is not used on property, it may be applied to a vehicle’s licensing fee (not sales tax). More than one vehicle may qualify, but the total exemption shall not exceed $90. The vehicle(s) must be titled to the Veteran before qualifying. Leased vehicles do not qualify. Refer to https://wyoleg.gov/statutes/compress/title39.pdf for more information in the Wyoming Statute 39-13-105.

Personal Financial Advisor

The program provides free, confidential personal financial counseling and group presentations to Wyoming Military Department members, Wyoming Veterans and their families. The program includes advice about resolving financial problems, budgeting and spending, retirement planning, as well as information and advice on major purchases (home, auto, college), identity theft, and TSP planning. The Personal Financial Advisor can help with debt issues, credit management, insurance, security clearance concerns related to financial issues, and most other issues that are financial in nature. For information or to schedule a meeting call 307-772-5362, 970980-9184, or email [email protected].

Access to Capital

Veterans Entrepreneurship Act of 2015 –eliminates fees on SBA Express Loans. Express loans have a maximum loan amount of $350,000. Veteran and Service-Disabled Veteran Owned Small Businesses can qualify for the Military Reservist Economic Disaster Loan.

Veteran Employment Programs

Veterans leaving the military have a wide range of assistance available to them to ensure they make the transition to civilian life in an orderly and productive manner.

State Employment

Veterans receive a 5 point advantage over any nonveteran competitor for the same position, and if the veteran has a service connected disability of 10%) or more the advantage given is 10 points. This section applies only to bona fide residents of Wyoming at the time of their entry into the military and who are at the time of taking the examination bona fide residents of Wyoming

Wyoming Department of Workforce Services

The Department of Workforce Services (DWS) is Wyoming’s newest state agency, dedicated to developing a demand-driven workforce that is responsive to Wyoming’s businesses, citizens, and economy. Veterans Services ensure assistance is provided or targeted to veterans, including services for veterans who are disabled or have employment issues. A variety of employment and training services are available through DWS and can be easily accessed at: www.wyomingworkforce.org

Employment Assistance for Wyoming National Guard Members

The Wyoming Military Department also has a program to help traditional Guard members and their family members find civilian employment opportunities within their communities. The Wyoming National Guard Jobs Coordinator can assist with resume writing, job interview skills and other tips. Contact the coordinator at (307) 772-5942.

Boots to Business

Boots to Business is an entrepreneurial education and training program offered by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) as part of the Department of Defense’s Transition Assistance Program (TAP). The curriculum continuum includes steps for evaluating business concepts, the foundational knowledge required to develop a business plan and information on SBA resources available to help access start-up capital and additional technical assistance. For more information contact 315-443-6898 or [email protected].

Troops to Teachers

Troops to Teachers is a Department of Defense program that provides nationwide assistance to military personnel (active, reserve and NG) and Veterans who desire to pursue a career as a public school teacher. Free services provided are:

  • Counseling and assistance regarding teacher certification processes
  • Information about the different pathways to state certification
  • Leads on employment opportunities
  • Information on financial assistance

For more information visit https://proudtoserveagain.com or contact the Wyoming Troops to Teachers Program Office: Byron McKinney at [email protected] or 406-994-4173; or Le Gaub at [email protected] or 406-994-4436.

VA Employment and Vocational Rehabilitation Services

Sheridan VA’s Therapeutic and Supported Employment Services (TSES) office offers support in resume writing, mock interviewing, aid with job applications, job coaching, computer education, and is available to all Veterans motivated to seek competitive employment. TSES also offers Compensated Work Therapy programs such as Supported Employment and Transitional Work. Supported Employment is beneficial for referred Veterans who are motivated or are already working in competitive employment. It is a long-term program that offers job carving, job preparation, case management, job coaching, home visits, limited transportation, and support in employee/employer relations for Veterans. Transitional Work is for referred Veterans who do not have recent job experience and desire competitive employment in the community. It is designed to offer 90-day assignments in various Sheridan VA departments in order to assess work ability and help place the Veteran in competitive employment in the community. Contact Sheridan VAMC: 307-672-3473, ext. 3831 for additional information.

Employment Services

The Wyoming Department of Workforce Services provides employment and training services to all Veterans and Eligible Spouses on a priority basis. Priority of Service (POS) is the right of eligible covered persons to take precedence over eligible non-covered persons in obtaining services and training. Local Workforce Centers (http://www.wyomingatwork.com) provide career guidance, job searches, resume writing, skills assessments, labor market information, unemployment benefits access, partnership referral services and training support to eligible Veterans and Spouses. Disabled Veteran Outreach Program (DVOP) specialists provide additional intensive services to meet the employment needs of eligible Veterans and spouses with Significant Barriers to Employment (SBE) including special disabled or other disabled Veterans, as defined by 38 U.S.C. 4211 (i.e., homeless, recently separated and unemployed for 27 weeks or more within the previous 12 months, low income, recent offender, lacking a high school diploma and Veterans aged 1824). Local Employment Veterans Representatives (LVER) assist employers with job development and placement of Veterans. Contact your closest Workforce Center by going to http://www.wyomingworkforce.org for more information.

State and Federal Job Protections for Military and Veterans

Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) is a Department of Defense agency that seeks to develop and promote a culture in which all American employers support and value the military service of their employees. ESGR does this by advocating relevant initiatives, recognizing outstanding support, increasing awareness of applicable laws, and resolving conflict between employers and service members. Paramount to ESGR’s mission is encouraging employment of Guardsmen and Reservists who bring integrity, global perspective and proven leadership to the civilian workforce. For more information contact the Wyoming Committee of ESGR at 307-772-5376

The Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) is a federal law that establishes rights and responsibilities for uniformed service members and their civilian employers. The law is intended to ensure that persons who serve or have served in the Armed Forces, Reserves, National Guard, or other uniformed services: (1) are not disadvantaged in their civilian careers because of their service; (2) are promptly reemployed in their civilian jobs upon their return home from duty; and (3) are not discriminated against in employment based on past, present, or future military service. For more information about the USERRA law visit http://www.esgr.mil/USERRA.

The Military Service Relief Act (W.S. 19-11-24) is a policy of the State of Wyoming that provides for its citizens who serve their country and state in the uniformed services and who leave their employment, homes, or education shall not be penalized nor economically disadvantaged because of such service. The purpose of this article is to prohibit discrimination against persons because of their uniformed service when they return to civilian life. For more information about the Wyoming Military Service Relief Act visit https://www.wyoleg.gov/StateStatutes/StatutesConstitution?tab=0.

National Guard Transition Assistance Advisor (TAA)

The TAA program places a VA-trained representative at the Wyoming National Guard Joint Forces Headquarters to act as an advocate for Guard members and their families. The TAA helps to navigate the VA system in obtaining their earned VA health care and VA benefits. The TAA works with all agencies to assist National Guard and Reserve Veterans. The TAA also serves as a liaison between the VA and the National Guard Bureau. For more information call your state TAA at 307-772-5163, email at [email protected] or visit http://www.taapmo.com.

Citizen Soldier for Life Program

The mission of Citizen of Soldier for Life program is to maintain a ready and resilient force capable of accomplishing State and Federal mission by connecting with ARNG Soldiers, Dependents, Veterans, and Retirees with financial and career education plus employment opportunities throughout the Soldiers Life Cycle. CSFL can provide help with resume building, job interview skills, budget help, and individual case management to Veterans and Retirees. For more information please contact Sara Spaulding, Career Readiness Counselor at [email protected] or 307-772-5098.

National Guard Employment Support Program (NGESP)

The mission is to provide employment resources to National Guard military members and their families. Services provided include, but not limited to, resume and cover letter assistance, hiring resources, professional development and career advice, interview skills and training courses (by request). For more information, call 307-772-5055, or email [email protected].

Wyoming National Guard Employment Opportunities

The Wyoming National Guard has many full time employment opportunities available at http://wyomilitary.wyo.gov .

Veterans’ Preference

Wyoming and federal laws gives eligible Veterans’ preference in appointment over many other applicants. Veterans’ preference applies to most new appointments in both the competitive and excepted service. Veterans’ preference does not guarantee Veterans a job and it does not apply to internal agency actions such as promotions, transfers, reassignments, and reinstatements. To learn more visit these sites:

Wyoming Vocational Rehabilitation

The Wyoming Department of Workforce Services, Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, works in partnership with consumers and other stakeholders to provide services and advocacy resulting in employment, independent living and equality for individuals with disabilities. For more information please call 307-777-7389 or visit http://wyomingworkforce.org/workers/vr/.

Education Assistance Programs

Free tuition and fees for education of War Orphans and Veterans

Veterans, surviving spouses, and dependents may be eligible for ten semesters of free tuition and fees while attending the University of Wyoming or Wyoming community colleges who meet the following eligibility requirements:

  • Resident of Wyoming for at least 1 year before application
  • Discharge other than dishonorable
  • Vietnam Veteran from August 5, 1964 to May 7, 1975
  • Overseas combat Veteran who received an Expeditionary Medal or equivalent
  • Surviving Spouse or dependent of an eligible Veteran who died in active service  (Dependent must be 22 years of age or less at time of application)

To apply bring your DD-214 to the educational institution’s financial aid office – Wyoming Veteran’s Education Consultant – Phil O’Connor (307) 772-5053.

Wyoming National Guard 100% State Educational Assistance Plan

The 100% State Educational Assistance Plan is for Wyoming National Guard members that want to pursue higher education. The plan pays 100% of the tuition and mandatory fees at Wyoming Junior colleges and at the University of Wyoming. The plan pays a determined amount each year for those private schools in Wyoming that are VA approved.

Guard members can use the state educational assistance to complete one degree or certificate program. This includes: Certificates, Associate, Bachelors, Masters, or PhD program. The combination of Certificate, Associate to Bachelor counts as one degree. Members can use the GI Bill and kicker if qualified with the 100% State Educational Assistance Plan.

Education Benefits For National Guard Family Members: Matriculation fees and tuition paid in the University of Wyoming or any junior college or vocational training institution in Wyoming for child or spouse of Wyoming National Guard member who dies or sustains permanent total disability from duty as guardsman while on state active duty or any authorized training duty.

Operation Recognition (High School Diploma)

Any Veteran of WWII, Korea, or Vietnam who was not able to complete their high school education prior to entering the service may be eligible to receive their diplomas.  Diplomas can also be awarded posthumously.  Call 1-800-833-5987 or (307) 265-7372 for application.

Post 9/11 GI Bill

The Post 9/11 GI Bill provides tremendous benefits to eligible Veterans. Are you considering if you should attend college using your benefits? Veterans should visit the Veterans Representative at their local community college or University of Wyoming for assistance. Veterans should also visit the GI Bill website for eligibility, payment rates, on-line registrations, approved program searches, and benefit inquires. For more information, call 1-888-GIBILL1 (1-888-442-4551) or visit http://www.gibill.va.gov.

Recreation

Hunting, Fishing, and Parks

The Wyoming Game and Fish Department offers a number of hunting and fishing licenses to qualified Veterans. Applicants must provide a letter from the VBA Regional Office certifying eligibility. Call 1-800-842-1934 (in-state) or 307-777-4600 (out-of-state) for specific requirements and application information or visit the Cheyenne Headquarters or one of the Department Regional Offices located in Casper, Cody, Green River, Jackson, Lander, Laramie, Pinedale, or Sheridan. Also, feel free to visit the Department’s website at http://gf.state.wy.us.

Hunter Safety for Military Veterans

Any active member, honorably discharged past member, or veteran of the armed forces of the United States is exempt from the requirement to provide or possess a certificate of competency and safety in the use and handling of firearms. Those who meet these service requirements may mail or visit a Game and Fish Department Office with a copy of documents verifying their service to obtain the necessary validation in the Department’s licensing system.

Free Fishing License

Any 50% disabled Veteran who is a resident of Wyoming for not less than one year, may submit an application and a letter from the VBA Regional Office certifying the 50% level of service connected disability compensation to receive a free fishing license.

Free Bird, Small Game, and Fishing Licenses

Any 100% disabled Veteran who is a resident of Wyoming for not less than one year may submit an application and a letter from the VBA Regional Office certifying the 100% level of service connected disability to receive a free game bird, small game and fishing license.

Free Hunting and Fishing While on Leave

Any Wyoming resident who is on active duty in the U.S. Military deployed to a combat zone, who is home on leave, and will return to a combat zone, may receive free hunting and fishing license for use while on leave.

Special Limited Fishing Permit for Hospitalized Veterans

In coordination with the Wyoming Game and Fish Department, a free license can be issued by any VA Hospital within Wyoming, Wyoming Department of Health, or Wyoming Department of Family Services to a resident of the Veterans’ Home. The Veteran must fish under direct control of the institution.

Pioneer Veteran Bird, Small Game, and Fishing License

For any Wyoming Veteran who is 65 or older and has lived in Wyoming for 30 or more continuous years.

Active Duty in Wyoming

Any active duty member of the U.S. Armed Forces who has been stationed in Wyoming for 90 days shall qualify as a resident so long as the active duty member remains stationed in Wyoming. Other laws apply. Consult a Game and Fish Department Office to determine eligibility.

Donated Big Game Licenses for Disabled Veterans

Any person may donate a big game license for reissuance, free of charge, to a disabled Veteran. The disabled Veteran must be selected and sponsored by a nonprofit charitable organization providing hunting opportunities for disabled Veterans in order to receive the donated license. Contact a Game and Fish Department Office to obtain information for organizations providing these sponsorships.

Free Lifetime State Park Pass

The Lifetime Veteran’s Permit allows free day use and camping for life and is available to any Wyoming resident veteran who is 50% or more service-connected disabled. Applicants must provide proof of residency and VA certification of level of disability. Information about the permit, including the application process and benefits, are available at the Wyo Parks website, www.wyoparks.state.wy.us or you may call or visit Wyo Parks Headquarters at 2301 Central Ave., Cheyenne, 307-777-6323.

America the Beautiful –The National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass

Access Pass is a free, lifetime pass available to U.S. Veterans that have been medically determined to have a permanent disability. The pass provides access to more than 2,000 recreation sites managed by five federal agencies. Veterans must be able to provide documentation of their disability from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Veterans can obtain an Access Pass in person, with proper documentation, from a participating federal recreation site or office. To learn more about the Access Pass, visit http://nps.gov/findapark/passes.htm.

Veteran Vehicles

Special Veterans License Plates

Starting in 2017, the new plate design featuring the Lower Green River Lake and Squaretop Mountain will be on the state’s 12 specialty plates, the prestige plates and the standard plates motorists receive at the county when registering their vehicles. WYDOT will contact all specialty plate customers three to six months prior to their plate’s expiration, reminding them to reapply for the specialty plate. Most specialty plate customers who reapply in 2017 will have the option to keep their existing plate combination. (Guard plate numbers will be reassigned based on Rank and Date of Rank; some Veteran Plate numbers with a final alpha, will receive a 5 digit number.)

Veteran special license plates are processed by WYDOT in conjunction with the county treasurers’ offices. Some of these plates require a county treasurer to approve them prior to submitting the application to WYDOT. In addition, some of the specialty plates require an extra fee to be remitted with the application. The following general provisions apply:

  • Applicant must be a Wyoming resident. Vehicle must be owned or leased by the applicant. If owned by the applicant, vehicle must be titled in the name of the applicant or may be joint ownership with a member of the immediate family.
  • Applications for choice DV license plates shall be presented directly to the county treasurer at least 30 days before registration of the vehicle expires.
  • All special license plates are re-issued once in an eight-year period and must be renewed annually no later than the last day of the annual registration month. Annual renewals shall be presented to the Office of the County Treasurer.
  • Upon transfer of ownership of the vehicle to which the plates were issued, the registration expires and the plates must be removed. After acquiring another vehicle, application may be made to transfer the license registration number to the newly acquired vehicle.

Go to http://www.dot.state.wy.us/home/titles_plates_registration/specialty_plates.html to download applications for the below special license plates. If approved, your license plates will be forwarded to the county treasurer’s office you indicate on your application. Send your payment of $50 made out to WYDOT in the form of a check or money order along with your application to: Wyoming Veterans Commission, 5410 Bishop Blvd., Cheyenne, WY  82009

  • Former Prisoner of War (POW) License Plate – first plate is FREE, additional plates may be purchased.

  • Purple Heart Recipient (PH) License Plate – must be purchased

  • Disabled Veteran (DV) License PlateOne FREE set of plates for Veterans at least 50% VA disabled. A disabled veteran may purchase one (1) additional pair of license plates for either a motorcycle or multipurpose vehicle upon payment of regular registration fees. The Disabled Veteran license plates cannot be used to park in handicapped parking spaces in Wyoming. To legally park in handicap parking, a separate handicap parking placard must be obtained.

  • Choice Disabled Veteran License Plates

  • Pearl Harbor Survivor (PHS) License Plate – must be purchased

  • National Guard (NG) License Plate – must be purchased

  • Veteran Plates – To qualify, you must have served at least one period of honorable service which resulted in the issuing of a DD 214.

  • Gold Star – A copy of death certificate or other documentation indicating the service member’s death while a member of the armed forces must be included with application (Do not submit an original). If approved, your license plates will be forwarded to the County Treasurer’s Office you indicated on the application. The $30 application fee will be paid by the Wyoming Veteran’s Commission. Mail application and documentation to: Wyoming Veterans Commission, 5410 Bishop Blvd., Cheyenne, WY 82009

Wyoming Driver License Veteran Designation

To qualify for the designation, the veteran must have served at least one period of honorable service which resulted in the issuing of a DD214. A copy of your separation papers and a verification form must be submitted to the Wyoming Veterans Commission at least one week before going to a WYDOT Driver Exam Station. To apply complete and mail the form at http://www.dot.state.wy.us/files/live/sites/wydot/files/shared/Driver_Services/Forms/201512%20VA%20Verification%20Form%20V3-fillable.pdf.

Veteran Burials

Oregon Trail State Veterans’ Cemetery

Oregon Trail State Veterans Cemetery Dr. Tom Walsh Memorial Chapel, Aerial view showing the approach road and bridge which leads to the cemetery, and Memorial Day flags

The Oregon Trail State Veterans’ Cemetery at 80 Veterans Road, Box 669 Evansville, WY 82636 has been established through the cooperative efforts of the Veterans Commission acting for the State of Wyoming and the National Cemetery Administration of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, successor to the Veterans Administration. The Wyoming Military Department supervises and controls the state veterans cemetery. Every veteran that received any discharge, other than dishonorable, from the Armed Forces of the United States is eligible for burial in the cemetery. The spouse, handicapped or minor child of an eligible veteran may also qualify for burial in the State Veterans’ Cemetery, providing that the interment of the qualifying family member is in the same burial plot as that provided for the veteran. Apply through the local funeral home or call Darrin Brahaney, Director Phone: 307-235-6673 / FAX: 307-235-6211.

This cemetery is closed to new interments. The only interments that are being accepted are subsequent interments for veterans or eligible family members in an existing gravesite. Periodically however, burial space may become available due to a canceled reservation or when a disinterment has been completed. When either of these two scenarios occurs the cemetery will assign such gravesites or columbarium niches to other eligible Veterans or family members at the time of the request. Since there is no way to know in advance when a gravesite may become available, please contact the cemetery at the time of need to inquire whether space is available. his cemetery has space available for cremated remains. We may be able to accommodate casketed remains in the same gravesite of previously interred family members.

Funeral Expenses

Deceased veterans may be eligible to have funeral expenses covered by the Board of County Commissioners. In order to be eligible for this benefit, the deceased veteran must have been other than dishonorably discharged, and must not have left sufficient funds for funeral expenses. The Board of County Commissioners will cover costs for preparation of, transmittal to, and burial in the cemetery. The amount for services is capped at $500. Call 1-800-833-5987 or (307) 265-7372 for more information and application.

Military Funeral Honors

All veterans who have not received a dishonorable discharge are entitled by Public Law 106-65 –October 5, 1999, Section 578 and Section 1491 of Title 10, USC to Military Funeral Honors at their funeral services. This includes burials, cremations, or memorial services. National Guard and Reservists may also receive honors if they have served at least one full obligation of military service. Military Funeral Honors are to be given once. A minimum of two members of the Military Funeral Honors detail for a veteran’s funeral shall be members of the armed forces. At least one the members of the armed forces shall be a member of the branch of service which the veteran was a member who shall present the flag to the next of kin or other appropriate individual. If a veteran served in more than one branch of the military, the last branch in which the veteran served will be the parent branch and will present the flag.

The DoD sequence of events for Military Funeral Honors is: Firing Detail, TAPS, Flag Fold and Flag Presentation. This sequence of events has been used for every President to include President George H.W. Bush. These honors are provided free of charge to the families of all entitled Veterans. Wyoming funeral home directors, family members or Veteran Service Organization will request Military Funeral Honors from the Veteran’s parent service when the family makes a request for Military Funeral Honors. The following offices may be contacted for Military Funeral Honors:

  • U.S. Air Force, F.E. Warren AFB, 307-773-2686 or 307-631-4407 after hours
  • U.S. Air Force, Ellsworth AFB –605-431-3008
  • U.S. Air Force, Malmstrom AFB –406-731-2831 or 406-750-5182 after hours
  • U.S. Air Force Hill AFB –801-777-3967 or 801-917-0047 after hours
  • U.S. Marine Corps -866-826-3628
  • U.S. Navy -866-394-9249 or 360-315-3273
  • U.S. Coast Guard -316-606-6792
  • U.S. Army, Wyoming –307-772-5136 or 307-365-1734 after hours

Retirees and Veterans Service Organizations may also augment in providing the Military Funeral Honors such as Bugler, Firing Party, or Color Guard. The Veteran Service Organizations may also be Authorized Provider Partnership Program (AP3) certified in partnership with each branch of the military. AP3 certified Veteran Service Organizations that have pre-registered with the WVC may also receive a $50 stipend from the military if funding is available. For questions about the Wyoming State Stipend call 307-7778152. For questions about the AP3 reimbursement call 307-7725136.

Burial of Indigent Veterans

Deceased indigent veterans may be eligible for burial by state counties. Counties will provide up to $500 for burial services. In order to be eligible for this benefit, the deceased veteran must meet the following criteria:

  • Discharged under other than dishonorable conditions
  • Service during wartime WW I, WW II. Korean war, or Vietnam war
  • Died in the county paying funeral
  • Proof of insufficient funds for burial

National Cemetery Administration

Burial in a VA national cemetery is available for eligible Veterans, their spouses and dependents at no cost to the family and includes the gravesite, grave-liner, opening and closing of the grave, a headstone or marker, and perpetual care as part of a national shrine. For Veterans, benefits also include a burial flag (with case for active duty) and military funeral honors. Family members and other loved ones of deceased Veterans may request Presidential Memorial Certificates. VA operates 131 national cemeteries, of which 72 are open for new casketed interments and 18 are open to accept only cremated remains. Burial options are limited to those available at a specific cemetery but may include in-ground casket, or interment of cremated remains in a columbarium, in ground or in a scatter garden.

The funeral director or the next of kin makes interment arrangements by contacting the National Cemetery Scheduling Office or, in some cases, the national cemetery in which burial is desired. VA normally does not conduct burials on weekends. Gravesites cannot be reserved; however, VA will honor reservations made under previous programs. Surviving spouses of Veterans who died on or after Jan. 1, 2000, do not lose eligibility for burial in a national cemetery if they remarry. Burial of dependent children is limited to unmarried children under 21 years of age, or under 23 years of age if a fulltime student at an approved educational institution. Unmarried adult children who become physically or mentally disabled and incapable of self-support before age 21, or age 23 if a full-time student, also are eligible for burial.

Public Law 111-275 extends burial benefits to certain parents of service members who die as a result of hostile activity or from training-related injuries who are buried in a national cemetery in a gravesite with available space. The biological or adopted parents of a service-member who died in combat or while performing training in preparation for a combat mission, who leaves no surviving spouse or dependent child, may be buried with the deceased service-member if the Secretary of Veterans Affairs determines that there is available space. The law applies to service-members who died on or after Oct. 7, 2001, and to parents who died on or after Oct. 13, 2010. VA’s National Cemetery Scheduling Office or local national cemetery directors verify eligibility for burial. A copy of the Veteran’s discharge document that specifies the period(s) of active duty and character of discharge is usually sufficient to determine eligibility.

For burials contact the National Cemetery Scheduling Office at http://www.cem.va.gov Tel: 1-800-535-1117; or the VA National Call Center (for questions) 1-800-827-1000. National cemeteries close to Wyoming are:

  • Fort Logan, Colorado (near Denver) (303) 761-0117
  • Fort Lyon, Colorado (near Las Animas) (303) 761-0117
  • Black Hills, South Dakota (near Sturgis) (605) 347-3830
  • Forest Lawn Soldiers Lot, Nebraska (near Omaha) (402) 451-8960
  • Fort McPherson, Nebraska (near Maxwell) (308) 582-4433 or 1-888-737-2800
  • Hot Springs and Fort Meade, SD are closed for new internments.
  • There are no national cemeteries in Idaho, Montana, and Utah.

VA Burial Allowances

VA burial allowances are partial reimbursements of an eligible Veteran’s burial and funeral costs. When the cause of death is not service related, the reimbursements are generally described as two payments:

  1. A burial and funeral expense allowance.
  2. A plot or interment allowance.

You may be eligible for a VA burial allowance if: you paid for a Veteran’s burial or funeral, AND you have not been reimbursed by another government agency or some other source, such as the deceased Veteran’s employer, AND the Veteran was discharged under conditions other than dishonorable. In addition, at least one of the following conditions must be met:

  • The Veteran died because of a service-related disability, OR
  • The Veteran was receiving VA pension or compensation at the time of death, OR
  • The Veteran was entitled to receive VA pension or compensation, but decided not to reduce his/her military retirement or disability pay, OR
  • The Veteran died while hospitalized by VA, or while receiving care under VA contract at a non-VA facility, OR
  • The Veteran died while traveling under proper authorization and at VA expense to or from a specified place for the purpose of examination, treatment, or care, OR
  • The Veteran had an original or reopened claim pending at the time of death and has been found entitled to compensation or pension from a date prior to the date or death, OR
  • The veteran died on or after Oct. 9, 1996, while a patient at a VA-approved state nursing home.

How Much Does VA Pay?

  • Service-Related Death: VA will pay up to $2,000 toward burial expenses for deaths on or after Sept. 11, 2001. VA will pay up to $1,500 for deaths prior to Sept. 10, 2001. If the Veteran is buried in a VA national cemetery, some or all of the cost of transporting the deceased may be reimbursed.
  • Non-service-Related Death: VA will pay up to $780 toward burial and funeral expenses for deaths on or after Oct. 1, 2018 (if hospitalized by VA at time of death), or $300 toward burial and funeral expenses (if not hospitalized by VA at time of death), and a $780 plot-interment allowance (if not buried in a national cemetery). For deaths on or after Dec.1, 2001, but before Oct. 1, 2011, VA will pay up to $300 toward burial and funeral expenses and a $300 plot-interment allowance. For deaths on or after April1, 1988, but before Oct. 1, 2011, VA will pay $300 toward burial and funeral expenses (for Veterans hospitalized by VA at the time of death).

An annual increase in burial and plot allowances for deaths occurring after Oct. 1, 2011 began in fiscal year 2013 based on the Consumer Price Index for the preceding 12-month period. You can apply by filling out VA Form 21-530, Application for Burial Benefits. You should attach a copy of the Veteran’s military discharge document (DD 214 or equivalent), death certificate, funeral and burial bills. They should show that you have paid them in full. A Veterans Service Officer can help you in this process. You may download the form at http://www.va.gov/vaforms.

Casualty Assistance

The U.S. Department of Defense criteria for providing casualty assistance benefits changes frequently. All benefits are determined on a case-by-case basis and depend in part on the decisions made by the Veteran prior to death. For assistance, call the Veterans Administration at 1-800-827-1000.

Survivor Outreach Services

SOS is a program designed to demonstrate the Army’s commitment to survivors of fallen service members. SOS assists survivors in understanding and accessing benefits and entitlements as well as arranging professional counseling. For more information call the SOS office 307-772-5563, 307-256-9860 or email [email protected].

Survivor Benefits

Eligible surviving spouses and dependent children can apply for Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC) a monthly stipend, or surviving spouse pension.A copy of the Veteran’s DD214 and the Veteran’s death certificate are required. For more information, call 1-800-833-5987.

Other Wyoming Veteran Support

Veterans’ Guardianships

The Uniform Veterans’ Guardianship Act has been adopted in Wyoming and governs the handling of guardianship estates of wards that are beneficiaries under the laws administered by the U. S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). The VA is a party in interest in any proceeding brought under this Act. Guardians can have no more than five wards, and regular accountings must be made. Refer to

http://www.legislature.mi.gov/(S(w2wl2hnqf0enxkz4niicks45))/documents/mcl/pdf/mcl-act-321-of-1937.pdf

Yellow Ribbon Reintegration Program

This program provides information, services, referrals and proactive outreach programs assisting service members, families, employers, Veterans, and communities of all branches of service throughout all phases of the deployment cycle for the National Guard and Reserves. The intent is to ensure that they receive information and assistance regarding all of the benefits and entitlements they have earned as a result of deployment. For more information, please call the WY Air National Guard at 307-772-6224 or the WY Army National Guard at 307-772-5208.

Free (Confidential) Recording of Honorable Discharges

Wyoming law grants all veterans who receive an honorable discharge from the military services of the United States the right of having his/her discharge papers, usually the DD 214 or the Honorable Discharge certificate bearing the DD 214 information on its reverse side, recorded free in the office of the county clerk if the documents have not been recorded previously in another county of the state. The County Clerk keeps this document confidential.

Operation Recognition

This is a program to recognize Veterans who left school to serve in the U.S. Armed Forces and never received a diploma. For more information call 1-800-833-5987.

Medals for Veterans

The Wyoming Veterans Commission can help Veterans who were denied military awards due to error, omission or because the awards were lost or misplaced. The awards can be presented to the next of kin if the Veteran is deceased. For more information call 1-800-833-5987.

Cold War Certificates

All members of the U.S. Armed Forces and qualified federal government civilian personnel who faithfully and honorably served the U.S. during the Cold War era which is defined as Sept. 2, 1945 to Dec. 26, 1991 are eligible. For more information or to download and application visit https://www.hrc.army.mil/content/Cold%20War%20Recognition%20Certificate%20Program%20Overview.

Family Programs

The program supports ALL Wyoming DoD members, families, retirees, and Veterans. Regionally located, FAC team members serve as a one-stop center for military families with emphasis on families with deployed military members. Wyoming Army National Guard families can seek assistance from the Family Program Office at 1-800-635-4917.

Family Assistance Centers (FAC)

For more information, call:

  • WY FAC Coordinator 307-7725109.
  • Central Wyoming 307-630-6966 or 1-866-992-7641, ext. 4540
  • Northeastern Wyoming 307-630-7647
  • Northwestern Wyoming 307-286-9992 or 1-866-992-7641, ext. 4043
  • Southeastern Wyoming 307-286-9991 or 1-866-992-7641, ext. 5017
  • Southwestern Wyoming 307-286-9993 or 1-866-9927641, ext. 4156

Family Readiness Support Assistant (FRSA)

The program provides assistance to WY ARNG commanders in support of their Family Readiness Groups (FRGs). FRSAs provide training as well as administrative support services to commanders, Family Readiness Liaisons and FRG Volunteers. The FRSA provides tools to assist with family readiness issues and deployment cycle challenges, so families are supported and prepared to thrive. If you are interested in volunteering for a Family Readiness Group or if you require FRSA assistance please call 307-772-5352 or 307-772-5197.

  • Army Reserve families can seek assistance from the Family Program Assistant. Call 406-324-3776 (Montana office; none in Wyoming).
  • Navy and Marine Corps families can seek assistance from the Navy Ombudsman. Call 307-214-2398.
  • Wyoming Air National Guard families can seek assistance from the Airman and Family Readiness Program. Call 307-772-6063.
  • F.E. Warren AFB families can seek assistance from the F.E. Warren AFB Airman and Family Readiness Center. Call 307-7732241.

153d Airlift Wing, Wyoming ANG Airman and Family Readiness Program

The Airman & Family Readiness Office supports individuals, families, and military leadership with programs and services to strengthen communities, encourage self-sufficiency, enhance mission readiness and ease adaptation to the Air Force/ANG way of life. The office serves singles, couples and families alike. The program serves as a one stop shop for Airmen and their families seeking assistance with Deployment Cycle Support, Spouse/Veteran Employment Assistance, Community Outreach Activities, Transition Assistance Program (VOW/TAP), Information & Referral, Life Skills Education, Financial Literacy Education/Assistance, Relocation Assistance, Wounded Warrior, Exceptional Family Member Program, Child and Youth Programs and Volunteer Opportunities. For more information please contact the WY Air National Guard Airman and Family Readiness Office at 307-772-606

Military OneSource

This is the largest military support program funded by the Department of Defense and administered out of the office of the Secretary of Defense. As our nation’s largest military support program, Military OneSource is an all-encompassing program for one’s entire military life. Ranging from all aspects of that military life, non-medical counseling, financial counseling, and educational programs. All phases of families support for families with special needs, young children Zero to Three and veterans up to 365 days out of uniform as well as ALL service members registered with any of the Wounded Warrior programs, for life. Military OneSource compliments all providers in the state with national resources, such as the largest on line Library in the DoD, identifies programs, providers available through one of three call centers on both sides of the nation and can be reached not only via CONUS but OCONUS as well. Military OneSource is a 24/7/365 program.

  • Web site: http://militaryonesource.mil
  • 24 Hour Call Centers: 1-800-342-9647 or OCONUS at: 903-253-7599
  • Military OneSource State Consultant: 307-287-9473 or 307772-5363.

Psychological Health

The program provides support and coordination of mental health access for service members and family needs. They are responsible for providing direct assessment/referral, clinical case management, critical incident event management services, and response to command requests for briefings and military personnel concerns. For information please call WY Army National Guard 307-7725279, WY Air National Guard 307-772-6185.

Child and Youth Programs

The program provides resources, training, leadership opportunities, and established local community support to meet the social, emotional, and academic needs of youth who are impacted by a family member’s service. The C&Y Program assists youth in navigating the challenges of the deployment of a parent or close family member. For more information contact 307-772-5018.

DAV Transportation

The Department of Wyoming Disabled American Veterans provides a transportation system of vans for Wyoming Veterans which assists them in traveling for medical related appointments to and from VA facilities. The heart of the program is the volunteer driver program which provides the manpower to carry these Veterans to their scheduled appointments at the VA Medical Centers and Clinics. The Wyoming programs are based in Cheyenne and Sheridan. Generally, the programs support travel to and from the VA Medical Centers located in these towns. The Cheyenne VAMC transports Veterans from the local area, Wheatland and Laramie. They also transport Veterans from Cheyenne to Rawlins, Casper and Sheridan when there are no drivers scheduled. The Sheridan VAMC transports Veterans to and from Casper and Gillette. Southwest Wyoming Veterans are supported by a program which travels to and from the Salt Lake City VA Medical Center. Veterans are encouraged to contact these offices to determine if they are eligible for transportation and if transportation services are available.

  • DAV Transportation Office, Cheyenne VAMC, 307-778-7550, ext. 7577
  • DAV Transportation Office Sheridan VAMC 307-675-3273
  • DAV Transportation Office for Southwest Wyoming Salt Lake City VAMC 1-800-613-4012, ext. 42003

Incarcerated Veterans

Compensation and Pension benefits remain in effect until the 61st day of incarceration in a federal, state or local penal institution as the result of conviction of a felony or misdemeanor. Incarcerated Veterans may receive a portion of their disability compensation, or have all or part of the compensation benefit apportioned to dependents on the basis of individual need. Pension benefits may also be apportioned to dependents based on individual need. Upon release, the Veteran should contact a Veteran Service Officer (1-800-833-5987) or the VA to request resumption of benefits. For more information, visit this web page http://www.benefits.va.gov/PERSONA/veteranincarcerated.asp.

The Veterans Justice Outreach Program (VJO)

Nationally the VA is working to ensure justice involved Veterans have access to Veterans Health Administration (VHA) services that they may be eligible for. The VJO Program works to assist incarcerated Veterans in enrolling for VA healthcare so they may access such services upon their release from jail. The VJO Specialist educates justice involved Veterans about VA services and assists Veterans in linking to VHA services, such as primary care, mental health services or homeless programs. The VJO Specialist may also educate the justice involved Veteran’s legal representative or probation agent about treatment options available at the local VA Medical Center.

Education is also provided about community resources as well as appropriate contacts for the Veterans Benefit Administration. Note –The VA cannot provide treatment to Veterans during periods of incarceration. For more information, contact the Veterans Justice Outreach Coordinator:

  • Cheyenne VAMC, 2360 East Pershing Blvd., Cheyenne, WY Tel: 307-214-7655
  • Sheridan VAMC 1898 Fort Road 82001Sheridan, WY 82801 Tel: 307-675-3375

Legal Aid of Wyoming Legal Service for Veterans Legal Aid of Wyoming (LAW) is a statewide nonprofit organization that provides high quality civil legal services to eligible individuals. One of the programs that LAW provides is services to veterans through law nights so veterans are not left alone trying to figure out how to manage a civil law issue.Formore information visit https://www.lawyoming.orgor call their hotline at 1-877-432-9955.

State Sponsored Life Insurance

The SSLI program is derived from United States Public Law 93-289, May 1974, Title 37, Section707 and is offered through the Wyoming National Guard. This program is comprised of a combination of six voluntary group life policies available to the military members of the Wyoming National Guard and, is designed to help meet the needs of our membership. The WYNGA is a member of the Militia Insurance Trust (MIT) underwritten by New York Life. The Militia Insurance Trust is comprised of 14 National Guard Associations. Every eligible member of the Wyoming National Guard is covered with $1,000 SSLI at no cost to the member. This $1,000 benefit is provided through the Militia Insurance Trust Group Life Insurance Plan. Key Benefits of the SSLI:

  1. Over $1,000,000 in coverage available for the Wyoming National Guardsman through a combination of the SSLI plans.
  2. Coverage available for the spouse and children.
  3. Rates do not go up just because you separate from the National Guard –you can keep the coverage when you separate.
  4. Coverage 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
  5. No War Exclusion –you are covered in combat.
  6. No Aviation Exclusion –aviators are covered.
  7. New Recruits are eligible for $10,000 SSLI coverage under the MIT Group Life Insurance Plan at no cost for the first year of service in the Wyoming National Guard. Enrollment must occur within 90 days of joining the Wyoming National Guard.

To learn more, visit http://www.NGSSLI.com for more information including eligibility, benefits, rates, exclusion limitations and renewal provisions. Enrollment forms are available online.

Wyoming’s Veterans’ Memorial Museum

The Wyoming Veterans Memorial Museum is a non-typical military museum that is exclusively focused on the personal, intimate, and sensitive stories of Wyoming veterans who have served in the Armed Forces spanning the Spanish-American War to the modern War on Terrorism. The museum covers all branches of service, all ranks and all conflicts as well as civilian components such as the Civil Air Patrol, Cadet Nurses, Merchant Marines and the Civil Defense Agency, to name a few.

The museum was established in the original Enlisted Men’s Service Club at the Casper Army Air Base, a World War II military training site that was activated on Sept. 1, 1942, and decommissioned in March 1945. Roughly 16,000 B-17 and B-24 bomber crewmen trained there during that time. From 1945 through the late 1960s it served as an Air National Guard training site for fighter squadrons and eventually became the Casper/Natrona County International Airport.

The museum houses nearly 700 individual Wyoming veteran’s stories and more than 25,000 artifacts spanning uniforms, photographs, archives, weapons and a library. We provide guided tours, hands-on activities and community presentations. We also participate in the Veterans History Project, through the Library of Congress. We are a research institution for the public with a full access policy. Since its inception, it has been operated exclusively by volunteers. Today it houses a comprehensive collection of Veterans’ memorabilia and the stories associated with the material. The museum participates in the Veterans’ History Program. The museum is located at 3740 Jourgensen Ave., Casper, Wyoming 82604 Tel: 307-472-1857. Hours of operation are 9:00am-4:00pm Tues thru Sat. Closed Sun., Mon. and Holidays. Admission is free.

Wyoming National Guard Museum

The mission of the Wyoming National Guard Museum is to honor all who have served in the Wyoming National Guard and to collect, conserve, exhibit and interpret their history. The museum educates Guard members and the public about the heritage of Wyoming’s Army and Air National Guard both in peace and in times of war. Its purpose is to showcase the history of the Wyoming National Guard. It houses Army National Guard artifacts starting from the year 1870, and Air National Guard artifacts beginning in 1946. The museum is a joint project between the Wyoming Military Department and the Wyoming Militia Historical Society. The building originally served as a warehouse and Armory for the Wyoming Army National Guard, which occupied the space until the late 1990s. In June 2007, the building was vacated by the Wyoming Department of Homeland Security. Control of the building then reverted back to the Wyoming Military Department. The building currently houses the Wyoming National Guard Museum collection. Since 1990 more than 22,000 artifacts, pieces of clothing and documents have been collected for display. The Wyoming Military Department utilizes the north end of the building for storage. Admission is free to all. Hours of Operation are Wednesday, Friday, Saturday 9 am to 4 pm and Thursday by appointment 9 am to 4 pm. The museum is located at 624 E. Pershing Blvd. Cheyenne, WY 82001 Tel: (307) 432-0057.

County Veteran Service Officer(s)

A new program that is in its early stages is the County Veteran Service Officer (CVSO) program. These are dedicated and trained volunteers that can help a veteran start the process of accessing State and Federal benefits. At the present time, Wyoming has only two southwestern counties participating in the CVSO program, but in surrounding states, there are literally hundreds of CVSOs that help their state veterans’ access benefits. To locate who your CVSO is and his/her contact info refer to http://wyomilitary.wyo.gov/veterans-commission/service-officers.

Wyoming Veterans’ Commission

The Commission is an agency created by state law in 1975 that is part of the Wyoming Military Department headed by the Adjutant General. It keeps informed on issues affecting Wyoming’s 58,000 veterans and makes appropriate recommendations to the Governor and legislature. By statute, the Commission’s duties include:

  • Study all federal and state legislation affection veterans, their spouses, dependents and beneficiaries;
  • Establish liaison with agencies dealing with veteran’s affairs;
  • Make recommendations to the legislature and to the governor concerning veterans; and
  • Adopt policies and procedures necessary to administer then veterans’ burial team account pursuant to W.S. 19-14-109.

Useful Links

Veterans Crisis Line

The Veterans Crisis Line connects Veterans in crisis and their families and friends with qualified, caring Department of Veterans’ Affairs responders through a confidential toll-free hotline, online chat, or text. Support for deaf and hard of hearing individuals is available. To receive confidential support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and 365 days a year veterans and their loved ones can

Visit http://wyomilitary.wyo.gov/veterans/commission for more information on any of the above programs or contact the Wyoming Veterans 5410 Bishop Blvd., Cheyenne, WY 82009 Tel : (307) 777-8152 Fax:(307) 777-8150.

[Source: http://www.military.com/benefits/veteran-state-benefits/wyoming-state-veterans-benefits.html Feb 2021 ++]