Getting Started

We often hear what appears on the surface to be a simple question, What is a Veteran? Too often, we hear people talking and they equate Veteran status only to someone who has served in combat. Our youthful Veterans think they are too young to be a Veteran, even though they served or are currently serving in the military. There are many interpretations of the word Veteran. The following are the state and federal definitions of a Veteran, which will assist in determining the benefits you have earned as a result of your military service. 

Watch MDVA  video and take the interactive quiz to learn about the qualifications for Veteran status.


To be eligible for benefits, you must be one of the following:

  • Veteran
  • Spouse
  • Surviving Spouse
  • Child or parent of a deceased veteran
  • Active duty military service member
  • Member of the Reserves or National Guard

Discharge Document (DD214) & Military Service Records

To apply for most benefits, you will need to provide military personnel records. If you do not have a copy of your discharge document, you can receive free copies by visiting the Anoka County Veteran Services Office and completing form SF-180.

Other documents you may need to get started

  • Civilian medical records
  • Marriage certificate
  • Birth certificates for dependents
  • Identification card or proof of residency 
  • Military medical records
  • Military personnel file


Use these links to view checklists of items you will need to bring to our office when completing your benefit application.