According to Veterans Affairs (VA), a vet is “a person who served in the active military, naval, or air services, and who was discharged or released under conditions other than dishonorable.” The VA reserves the right to determine whether a veteran’s discharge and disability were honorable, or the result of total dishonorable service, or from an isolated dishonorable act. Therefore, the VA may decide that a veteran does not qualify for benefits, regardless of the length of service or what type of discharge he or she may have.

In the United States, there are approximately 24,000,000 veterans. Less than one million of these vets served in World War II and the Korean War. An estimated 3.4 million served in the Vietnam War. As of January 2007, more than 1.6 million soldiers had served in Afghanistan and Iraq. Only 11% of these veterans currently receive benefits.