Patrick Jolly is the Napa County Veterans Service Officer. He is an advocate for veteran's rights and assists in a number of areas including medical, education and death benefits.

There are so many benefits available to veterans and their dependents that go unused simply due to lack of knowledge of the benefit.

Monetary benefits may be available to the surviving spouse or dependent children of veterans. There may even be educational and health care benefits.

One of the more common disabilities among veterans is not easily seen by others, and it is rarely discussed with non-veterans. It doesn’t cause a limp, a stoop, a slump or a squint. But at its worst, it can cause a complete emotional or even physical shut down.

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Veterans may be able to receive compensation from the Department of Veterans Affairs if they have a physical or psychological condition that can be connected to their military service. In general, the veteran has to prove several things. However, for some veterans, the process is much simpler.

Editor’s note: This is the first column for the Register by Patrick Jolly, who will be writing once a month on veterans affairs.