Published Wed, Mar 14, 2012 5:12 am Dateline
Veterans of recent wars in the Middle East are eligible for a compensation bonus from the state of Ohio, even after those wars are over.
The bonus was a bond issue passed by a large margin in November 2009 and has resulted in more than $45 million in compensation money to veterans, servicemen and women, and the families of fallen troops.
Ohio Department of Veterans Services spokesman Mike McKinney says the bonus is not taxed by the government or the state of Ohio.
"The Ohio veteran's bonus is a way for the state of Ohio and the people of Ohio to say thanks for the people that have served in the military in the Persian Gulf War and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan," says McKinney.
Veterans of combat are eligible to be paid $100 for every month served, while veterans who served elsewhere are paid $50 a month.
McKinney says Athens County has seen $217,000 since the initiative began.
"It's money going directly to veterans and their families. And obviously it would also benefit the businesses here in the communities of Southeast Ohio, as the veterans get out and spend that money in their communities," says McKinney.
McKinney says the money won't run out anytime soon.
Millions remain to be given to Ohio veterans.