VA Heart of Texas Health Care Network
Returning Service Members
Welcome Home and Job Well Done!
We value your service and your sacrifice. Because of this, the VISN 17 Heart of Texas Health Care Network is committed to support returning troops from Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF), Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF), and Operation New Dawn (OND) and to make sure they have the health care and benefits they need and deserve.
Returning Service Members
The Returning Service Members effort is a nationally designated system of care created to meet the specific needs of those service members returning from Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF), Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF), and Operation New Dawn (OND). The goal is to ensure that these returning service members receive the highest quality of care in a timely manner. We are examining the unique needs of the OEF/OIF/OND service members and will continue to provide services to meet those needs. Our facility designated OEF/OIF/OND point of contact is available to assist you in establishing health care services and to answer any questions you may have.
Who to Contact
For questions about how to apply for VA health care or for information about the various health care services available for individuals returning from Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF), Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF), and Operation New Dawn (OND) please contact your local facility:
- Amarillo VA Health Care System - Amarillo, Texas
- Central Texas Veterans Health Care System - Temple, Texas
- El Paso VA Health Care System - El Paso, Texas
- South Texas Veterans Health Care System - San Antonio, Texas
- VA North Texas Health Care System - Dallas, Texas
- VA Texas Valley Coastal Bend Health Care System - Harlingen, Texas
- West Texas VA Health Care System - Big Spring, Texas
Special Eligibility and Coordination of Care for Combat Veterans Serving in Combat Theater After 11/11/1998- Returning Servicemembers (OEF/OIF/OND)
VA is ready to provide health care and other medical services to our nation's returning OEF/OIF/OND Servicemembers. The VA Heart of Texas Health Care Network has a team ready to welcome OEF/OIF/OND Servicemembers and to help coordinate their care. 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.