From the Field StaffHallie SmithWade Davis

By Wade Davis and Hallie Smith

Personal Fulfillment Through VNSO Program


An essential part of BVA’s mission to empower blinded veterans is the motto we commonly use: Blinded veterans helping blinded veterans. This is exemplified in our Volunteer National Service Officer Program, where members across the country assist fellow blinded veterans residing in their areas to obtain the VA benefits they have earned.

Becoming a Volunteer National Service Officer (VNSO) can be one of the most rewarding endeavors you will ever pursue in your life. Helping newly blinded veterans turn their lives around by attending a VA BRC or helping them receive the VA benefits for which they are eligible are just a couple of the many ways in which you will have the privilege of assisting your fellow veterans.

VNSOs also help the families of blinded veterans by assisting spouses with obtaining Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC) benefits or helping entire families of deceased veterans go through the grieving process upon losing a loved one.

This exciting career will add enormous fulfillment to your life. If you are ready to begin this amazing journey, the Field Service Program staff welcomes you. We stand together in this incredible opportunity.

VNSO training will be held during the first two days of the BVA 72nd National Convention August 14-15 from 8:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. in Jacksonville. This training will be packed full of information each day with topics covering as many issues as possible that arise in the daily work of the VNSO. They include compensation for service-connected disabilities, pension for low-income wartime veterans, and how to develop a claim. The excellent VA speakers who will be doing VNSO training include Guy Borgeson, Decision Review Officer from the St. Petersburg, Florida Regional Office; Eric Jacobosky, Change Management Agent also from the same office; and Geraldine Rosado-Rivera of the Philadelphia Pension Management Center.

The BVA Field Service Resource Center will also run a claims office onsite at the convention August 16-18. National Service Officers will work with you on VA claims by checking the status of an existing claim, assisting with new ones, and guiding you through the process of gathering evidence you may need as part of a claim. To make this process more efficient, we ask that you make an appointment for this service before the convention.

Although walk-ins will be accepted at the convention, an appointment will guarantee you time to work with a Service Officer. Please contact Wade Davis at wdavis@bva.org or call him at 202-371-8880, ext. 308, to schedule a time.

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