The BVA Auxiliary (BVAA) is a group comprised of the family members and friends of veterans blinded during the line of duty with a branch of the United States Armed Forces. Our mission is to support these men, women, and families in any way we can—from securing health insurance to paying for education.


Phone: (855) 281-3385
Mailing Address: PO Box 90770,
Washington, DC 20090
Hours: Monday – Sunday, 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.



BVA Auxiliary Bylaws (PDF)

“We, the members of the BVA Auxiliary—in order to aid the BVA Auxiliary in whatever fashions we are able; to develop a deeper interest in that organization by family members and friends; to preserve and strengthen a spirit of fellowship among auxiliary members so that they may give mutual aid and assistance to one another—do adopt and establish these bylaws.”

Membership Application

BVA Auxiliary Membership Application (PDF) (WEB)

Board of Directors

Robert Murphy, President

Sherri Bates, Vice President

Benjamin Holmes, Secretary

Karin Myron, Treasurer

Hurtis Lilly, Reporter

Sandra Krasnodemski, Past President

Additional Information


In the simplest terms, the VA pays compensation for an injury, illness, or lingering effect caused by being in the military, with the clearest example being a battlefield injury. This includes veterans whose eyesight can never be restored due to a combat injury. In these cases, the VA pays compensations to soldiers on a monthly basis.

Compensation is different from pensions in several important respects. While compensation is linked to some injury, illness, or lingering effect related to being in the military, pensions are linked to a veteran’s disability (not related to military service), limited income, or their military service during a wartime situation. In the post-Vietnam era, the nature of military conflict and wartime service needs to be researched. Your regional office can clarify who qualifies as a wartime veteran.

Please contact us for more valuable information about the compensation to which you’re entitled.

Health Insurance

All veterans, including those who have lost their sight, are entitled to health insurance. We’re here to help them understand all their options, which include:

  • Tricare
  • Medicare
  • Medicaid
  • VA Health Care

Regarding Tricare and Medicare, the following are important details that blinded veterans and their families should be aware of regarding their health insurance:

  • For services payable by Tricare and Medicare — Tricare will be the second payer.
  • For services payable by Tricare but not Medicare — Tricare will pay, and you pay an annual deductible and cost-share.
  • For services payable by Medicare but not Tricare — Medicare pays as usual, and Tricare pays nothing.
  • For services not payable by Medicare or Tricare — You are responsible for the cost.

Medicare considers Tricare a recognized provider of prescription medications. This means that there is no penalty if a veteran decides to enroll in a private plan in the future.

Tricare has a dental plan, but costs vary according to the area of the country where you live. A Tricare Dental representative can provide you with more details.

A spouse can be enrolled in Tricare for Life without the retired veteran needing to be enrolled.

Tricare for Life excludes enrollment in other HMOs. A person must carefully look at the pros and cons of this system to understand Tricare’s guidelines about what it will and won’t pay for.

Higher Education Assistance

The government offers the Dependents Educational Assistance Program, which provides spouses and children with monthly stipends for school and training. While receiving educational benefits, they are also able to concurrently draw DIC and other forms of compensation and pension, significantly increasing the available dollar amounts.

Spouses of veterans are eligible to receive financial support to attend:

  • High School
  • College
  • Junior College
  • Traditional School
  • Professional School
  • Technical Institutes
  • Other Secondary School-Level Institutions
  • Remedial or Refresher Training
  • Apprenticeship Programs
  • On-the-Job Training
  • Apprenticeship & Farm Cooperative Training

Please note that a person cannot simply decide to attend college and use these benefits. First, they must make an appointment with RO to establish eligibility and present an education plan. The best approach is to make contact with RO early and go through the steps of developing and approving an education plan.

In addition to the DEA program, the BVA Auxiliary is proud to have offered the Renee Feldman Scholarships for more than 30 years. Two of these awards are for $1,000, and the third is for $2,000. Stay tuned for more information for the next academic year.

Veteran Passing

In the year of the veteran’s death, the spouse and veteran will be considered married for the entire year. If the spouse does not remarry in that tax year, there is the option to file a joint return and claim exemptions for both.

The surviving spouse may be entitled to certain benefits that enable him or her to compute taxes using the tax rate schedule under the same heading as married taxpayers filing joint returns and certain widows and widowers. This results in the potential for substantial tax savings.