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Durham VA Health Care System


Returning Service Members


...and welcome to the Durham Veterans Affairs Medical Center’s website dedicated specifically to information and resources for veterans of Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom (OEF/OIF) residing in and around Durham, North Carolina. Durham's OEF/OIF Care Team is honored to assist veterans with transitioning to civilian life and linking veterans to healthcare and community resources.


...and you've probably come to this website because you’re looking for answers or information. We know it can be difficult to navigate the paperwork and the forms and finding out who to talk to about this or that. That's where this website comes in handy. Below is a list of questions and statements that are of interest to OEF/OIF veterans. Each question links to information and resources as well as a contact person at DVAMC who can assist you further.


YMCA Memberships and Respite Care for Eligible Military Families

The Department of Defense has partnered with the Armed Services YMCA to fund memberships at participating YMCAs throughout the United States and Puerto Rico.

The specific eligibility requirements are listed in the press release. Enrollment/eligibility forms are available at the site.

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 Durham VA Health Care System 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.


Susan Watkins, MSW, CSW
Program Manager
919-286-0411 Ext. 7040

Michael Redic
Transition Patient Advocate
Room Number A1017
919-286-0411 Ext. 5952