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South Central VA Health Care Network


Returning Service Members

Welcome Home and Thank You for Serving!

Picture of soldier holding American flag.

South Central VA Health Care Network (VISN 16) is grateful to the men and women who risk their lives to fight terrorism in Afghanistan, Iraq and many other places around the world.

VISN 16 is honored to serve our nation's Veterans and offer a wide range of health care services for returning combat veterans. VA Medical Centers will provide two years of free health care after discharge from active service for any health problem possibly related to service in designated areas of military conflict.

If you are a Veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom or Operation Enduring Freedom and live near a VISN 16 medical center, please visit the VA nearest you and enroll for health care.

We want you to know about the VA services available to you and to help you access the OEF/OIF point of contact for your area. VISN 16 has the following designated OEF/OIF points of contact for Veterans at each facility to help with the application process.

VISN 16 is proud to assist in the health care needs of our Veterans.

The first step after returning home from deployment is to: Register with the VA

Special Eligibility and Coordination of Care for Combat Veterans Serving in Combat Theater After 11/11/1998- Returning Servicemembers (OEF/OIF/OND)

The Post-9/11 Transition and Care Management Program offers transitional assistance, case management and outreach services to all Veterans who have served after September 11, 2001 in their transition to civilian life. For more information about the various programs available for recent returning service members, log on to the Returning Servicemembers web site.

Veterans who served in a theater of combat operations also have special eligibility for VA health care. Under the "Combat Veteran" authority VA provides cost-free health care services and nursing home care for conditions possibly related to military service and enrollment in Priority Group 6 or higher for 5 years from the date of discharge or release from active duty, unless eligible for enrollment in a higher priority group.

Combat Veterans who enroll with VA under this enhanced Combat Veteran authority will continue to be enrolled even after their enhanced eligibility period ends, although they may be shifted to Priority Group 7 or 8, depending on their income level, and required to make applicable copays. Additionally, for care not related to combat service, copays may be required depending on their financial assessment and other special eligibility factors.

NOTE: The 5-year enrollment period applicable to these Veterans begins on the discharge or separation date of the service member from active duty military service, or in the case of multiple call-ups, the most recent discharge date.