Attention A T users. To access the menus on this page please perform the following steps. 1. Please switch auto forms mode to off. 2. Hit enter to expand a main menu option (Health, Benefits, etc). 3. To enter and activate the submenu links, hit the down arrow. You will now be able to tab or arrow up or down through the submenu options to access/activate the submenu links.

VA Northwest Health Network


Returning Service Members

Our Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) / Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) / Operation New Dawn (OND) program is tailored to meet the specific health care needs of our newest Veterans. Some of the many services OEF/OIF/OND Veterans can access through this program include:

  • Primary Care
  • Dental Care
  • Vision Care
  • Polytrauma
  • Rehabilitation
  • Behavioral Health Care
  • Psychological Services
  • Counseling
  • Family Benefits Counseling
  • Referral Assistance

Veterans have five years from their date of discharge to receive free health care for any combat-related condition. After the five years, a co-payment status will depend on whether your illness or injury is found to be service-connected.

Combat Veterans — including activated Reservists and members of the National Guard — are eligible if:

  • they served on active duty in a theater of combat operation during a period of war after the Gulf War, or in combat against a "hostile" force during a period of hostilities after Nov. 11, 1998.
  • their discharge classification was honorable, general or under honorable conditions.
  • they were ordered to active duty by federal declaration, served the full period for which they were called or ordered to active duty, and have separated from active military service on honorable, general or under honorable conditions.
  • they were discharged from active duty before Jan. 28, 2003, and applied for enrollment on or after Jan. 28, 2008 (they are eligible for these enhanced benefits until Jan. 27, 2011).

OEF/OIF/OND Contacts

Program Coordinator
Tiel Keltner | 360-567-4693

Every VISN 20 VA medical center supports a team of medical experts devoted to helping OEF/OIF/OND Veterans adjust to civilian life. For more information, contact the program coordinator listed below for the facility closest to you.

Faith Baker — 907.273.4008

Sue Hicks — 208.422.1000 x7272

Jeny Merrill — 503.220.8262 x52394

Puget Sound
Amanda Bieber-Mayberry — 253.583.1165

R. Scott Scampini — 541.242.0453

Monica Gile — 509.434.7287

Walla Walla
Mary Gordon — 509.525.5200 x22671

Southern Oregon Rehabilitation Center and Clinics
Chris Petrone — 541.826.2111 x3230

Theater of Combat:
The following documentation is used to determine service in a theater of combat operation:

  • Military service documentation that reflects service in a combat theater
  • Receipt of combat service medals
  • Receipt of imminent danger, hostile fire pay or tax benefits

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.