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No, You Don't Qualify for Benefits

Courtesy of
Courtesy of

Dear Q&B,

My father was a WWII veteran. Would I be eligible for access to the commissary?

He was honorably discharged. I don't know much else -- he never spoke of his time in the war in detail.

Interested Shopper

Dear Shopper,

We know you probably don't know very much about the military. World War II was a long time ago, and since you didn't mention it, we're guessing you never personally served.

We get a lot of letters from people wondering if they, somehow, have access to military benefits without ever serving their country. They want to know if they can get health care, or base access, or special discounts based on the sacrifice of someone else.

We want to give you the benefit of the doubt, but to be perfectly honest, letters like yours are the worst.

It's hard for us not to get upset at the idea of fully grown adults who want to take advantage of a parent's long-ago service in the form of free health care or discounted groceries.

People who are hoping for a hook-up because, once upon a time (in your case, seven decades ago), their mom or dad sacrificed for the U.S., even though they personally never bothered.

These letters make us a little angry. So let us put this as nicely as we can: Military benefits are for those who serve their country in the military and the spouses and the children who depend on them for care. That's it. No one else.

No service, no benefits.

Team Q&B

-- Do you have a question about your benefits? Email the Questions and Benefits team at

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