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Central Arkansas Veterans Healthcare System


Returning Service Members

Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom (OEF-OIF) Program 

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) OEF/OIF web site provides links to a wide range of VA benefits for returning Active Duty, National Guard and Reserve service members of Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom.

Our OEF-OIF staff is here to assist recent combat veterans with their VA care. This program addresses veterans who have served in Iraq or Afghanistan, and certain other countries such as Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, and the waters of the Persian Gulf.

Service must be since September 11, 2001 and have occurred in one of the above combat zones. These veterans are considered priority patients, and access to care is emphasized. Our staff can assist in the following ways:

  • Completing a one-time post-deployment health risk assessment
  • Help with issues related to deployment injuries or illnesses
  • Help navigate the VA system.
  • Perform courtesy visits with OEF-OIF inpatients admitted to CAVHS.
  • Provide outreach activities to military units throughout Arkansas.

Polytrauma patients and patients with traumatic brain injuries are of special concern.

We can also refer OEF-OIF veterans to VA Regional Offices regarding compensation and pension claims, vocational rehabilitation, and other benefits.

VA Poster 10-138 Eligibility Information
VA Poster 10-139 Eligibility Information


Nakia Williams, LMSW (501) 257-6706
Office 1E-106 (Blue Atrium)
Leotis Nichols (501) 257-5414
Office 1C-170 (Green Atrium)
Valerie Dewese, LMSW (501) 257-4945
Office 1C-171 (Green Atrium)

Special Eligibility and Coordination of Care for Combat Veterans Serving in Combat Theater After 11/11/1998- Returning Servicemembers (OEF/OIF/OND)

The Post-9/11 Transition and Care Management Program offers transitional assistance, case management and outreach services to all Veterans who have served after September 11, 2001 in their transition to civilian life. For more information about the various programs available for recent returning service members, log on to the Returning Servicemembers web site.

Veterans who served in a theater of combat operations also have special eligibility for VA health care. Under the "Combat Veteran" authority VA provides cost-free health care services and nursing home care for conditions possibly related to military service and enrollment in Priority Group 6 or higher for 5 years from the date of discharge or release from active duty, unless eligible for enrollment in a higher priority group.

Combat Veterans who enroll with VA under this enhanced Combat Veteran authority will continue to be enrolled even after their enhanced eligibility period ends, although they may be shifted to Priority Group 7 or 8, depending on their income level, and required to make applicable copays. Additionally, for care not related to combat service, copays may be required depending on their financial assessment and other special eligibility factors.

NOTE: The 5-year enrollment period applicable to these Veterans begins on the discharge or separation date of the service member from active duty military service, or in the case of multiple call-ups, the most recent discharge date.