- The Washington Times - Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Dear Sgt. Shaft:

I am way out of touch with possible benefits after being honorably discharged in 1977; I actually enlisted in 1971 after serving in Camp Lejeune and also on the MSG program, serving at the American Embassy in London for some three years inclusive.

I currently live in the United Kingdom, where I married here and brought up our two daughters.

Please give me some help and guide me on any benefits that I can claim, retirement or some other financial benefit. I also have a copy of my DD214 if ever required.

Thank you in advance for your help.

Robert B.
Via the Internet

Dear Robert:

Unfortunately as my sources tell me, there are no retirement benefits for you as an eight-year veteran, and further that your GI Bill benefits expired 10 years after your separation. If you have a service-connected disability, you may qualify for compensation and health care for the disability. Finally, you will have the opportunity to be buried in a VA or state veteran’s cemetery in the U.S. That’s probably all there is for someone in your situation.

Shaft notes

• The Marine Corps Heritage Foundation, a nonprofit organization, is now accepting submissions for its annual awards program. Each year, the foundation presents awards honoring the outstanding, creative work of individuals in preserving and promulgating the Marine Corps‘ history, traditions and culture. Marines and civilians alike may submit their own entries or the distinguished work of others for award consideration. Awards will be presented at the foundation’s annual ceremony on April 20, 2013.

Submissions deadline is Jan. 9, 2013.

From active duty and retired Marines to civilians, the awards program draws entries from a broad spectrum of individuals interested in portraying or recognizing some aspect of Marine life, culture, history or work. The foundation recognizes superior achievement in literature, art, photography, videography and museum exhibits. Award categories include historical scholarship, journalism, and letters and arts for a total of 15 awards. The awards submissions will be reviewed by a distinguished and diverse panel of editors from major regional and national media outlets, as well Marines, authors and noted photographers.

“Our annual awards ceremony spotlights the creative achievements of civilians and Marines alike,” said Lt. Gen Robert R. Blackman Jr., president and CEO of the Marine Corps Heritage Foundation. “The foundation applauds all those who have created work that depicts advances and preserves Marine Corps history, traditions and culture. We strongly encourage individuals to submit their own work or submit work on behalf of others. It is important for these works to be celebrated.”

Dedicated to the preservation and promotion of Marine Corps history, the Marine Corps Heritage Foundation supports the historical programs of the Marine Corps in ways not possible through government funds. The foundation provides grants and scholarships for research and the renovation, restoration, and commissioning of historical Marine Corps artifacts and landmarks.

For a detailed list of the awards as well as the submission requirements, please visit: http://www.marineheritage.org/Awards.asp.

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