Column: Veteran UP Login | News, Sports, Jobs

By Pamela Basal

Assistant Transition Advisor, Reserve Component

The UP is home to many veterans. All over Michigan we have great veterans organizations available, both state and federal. However, navigating these services or knowing where to find them is not always easy. The Department of Defense recognized this and many years ago created Assistant Transition Advisors for the Reserve Component to assist. This year, they recognized that the UP needed one of their own, as we had one for the whole of the state of Michigan. I have the privilege of accepting this position. My name is Pam Basal and I live in Marquette, Michigan. I recently retired from the Michigan Department of Corrections where I served as an officer for over 28 of my 31 years of service in the state. The difficulties of re-entering civilian life and changing careers can be difficult. As the guardian of my late father-in-law, a Korean War veteran, I know the difficulties in finding benefits, where to look for them and how to get them. I had and still have family members who serve. My love for helping the military led me to the Guard and Reserve Employer Support (ESGR) where I volunteer as a UP Zone President. ESGR is a voluntary organization under the Ministry of Defense. We work with service members in Reserve Components to help them understand their rights and obligations under USERRA law. We also work with and recognize employers with regards to USERRA and their support for our military.

My primary audience as RCTAAs are those who have served at least 180 days of active military service with a reserve component (i.e. Individual Reserve Ready, National Guard, Coast Guard Reserve, army, etc.). This includes Title 10 and Title 32. I can help guide service members to benefits and entitlements such as: state benefits, physical and mental well-being (veterans affairs), benefits for disabled veterans, employment assistance, education and training, financial assistance, health and life insurance, legal assistance, relocation / homelessness and career change. However, these topics do not only apply to service members in the description above; they also affect our other UP veterans. So every month I will write an article on one of these topics to share tips and information with all of our veterans.

If you need help with your services or if you would like to suggest a topic for any of these articles, please do not hesitate to contact me at [email protected] or mobile number 906-360-3890 . You can also scan the QR code for direct benefit questions, fill out the little drop-down menu when it appears, and it will send your information to me directly. I look forward to hearing from you and serving our service members in the UP

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Pamela Basal is the Deputy Advisor for the Reserve Component Transition for the Upper Peninsula through the Department of Defense.

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