Politics 101 – Survivor’s Handbook • ARE YOU PREPARED? IS YOUR FAMILY PREPARED?


Dr. Tom Waters 

Of course you ask, “Prepared for what?” Well, the Survivor’s Handbook is your way to aid your family (usually your spouse) in preparing for the inevitable. Although no one likes to talk about death or dying, we MUST face that reality and it’s up to us to ensure that our loved ones are prepared. The primary purpose of the Survivor’s Handbook is, “What to Do When a Veteran Passes Away.”

If you are already prepared, that’s great but you are a tiny minority because most veterans are NOT prepared … meaning that their families and loved ones are NOT prepared. I procrastinated for THREE YEARS before I took it seriously and prepared everything I felt my wife would need when I am no longer here. I prepared a checklist and put together a packet that she can hand to a Veteran Service Officer who then can very easily help her through the difficult and distressful period.

Then, I came across the best Survivor’s Handbook I had seen and I’d love for every veteran to prepare a packet before it is too late. It helped me to make the packet for my wife even better.

This 41 page Handbook was put together by Richard Keirn of the Military Order of the Purple Heart (MOPH) Chapter 730 in Henderson, Nevada.

Using the Handbook as a guide, I have placed information in an Accordion Folder with a Table of Contents in the first slot. Here is a list of the contents that I selected:

– Name / DOB / Where Born / SSN / VA Claim #
– Dates of Military Service / Rank and Pay Grade
– Monthly Bills
– DD-214 / DMV Exempt Account #
– Medications List
– VA Claim Results / VA Disability Letters
– Medical “5” Wishes / Advanced Directive
– Wills / Living Revocable Trust
– Survivor’s Handbook
– Marriage Certificates / Divorce Decrees
– Birth Certificates
– Burial Plot Information
– Vehicle Information / Title / Insurance
– Retirement Orders / Social Security Information / Insurance Policies
– Checking & Saving Account Information

I sincerely encourage every family to ensure they are prepared and understand what to do when a Veteran Passes Away.

Now that you know about the Survivor’s Handbook and understand WHY you need to get one, you should also be prepared for whenever and whatever happens but you also need to know HOW to obtain one.

To obtain a copy of this outstanding Handbook you can contact Richard Keirn via email at Richard.keirn@yahoo.com or call him at 702-419-6869.

If you’re in the Town of Pahrump, you can get one at the Pahrump VA Clinic, all the courtesy of Richard Keirn and MOPH Chapter 730.

If you missed any of my earlier articles you can go to the Veterans Reporter News webpage at <https://www.veteransreporternews.com/> to review any Back Issues.

I hear from MANY readers about my articles (most are positive) and I thank you for your positive or challenging “constructive” comments. Feel free to contact me if you believe any of the information provided is inaccurate or if you have additional information that I can share with our readers.

By: Thomas (Tom) Waters, Lt. Colonel, USAF (Ret), Ed.D. / twaters2015@gmail.com