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AGO 1951 No. 429 - January 16, 1951
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Smith Troy | 1941-1952 | Attorney General of Washington

COUNTY AND STATE AID TO INDIGENT VETERANS

There is no qualification as to length of service in regard to benefits under the Soldiers' and Sailors' Indigent Fund.

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                                                                 January 16, 1951

Hugo Petersen, Director
King County Veterans' Aid Bureau
326 County-City Building
Seattle 4, Washington                                                                                                              Cite as:  AGO 49-51 No. 429

Dear Sir:

            You have requested an opinion from this office on the following question:

            Is a discharged veteran who has served less than ninety days in the armed forces entitled to benefits from the Soldiers' and Sailors' Indigent Fund, under chapter 180, Laws of 1947?

            Our conclusion may be summarized as follows:

            Such a veteran, if otherwise qualified, is entitled to benefits under chapter 180, Laws of 1947.

                                                                     ANALYSIS

            Chapter 41, Laws of 1921 (Rem. Rev. Stat. § 10737 through 10743) provided for certain benefits to indigent veterans and their families.  The law has been amended on a number of occasions since its original enactment and has finally been reenacted by chapter 180, Laws of 1947.  Section 1 of chapter 180, Laws of 1947 (1947 Rem. Supp. § 10737) provides as follows:

            "For the relief of indigent and suffering Union soldiers, sailors and marines who served in the Civil War, in the war of Mexico or in any of the Indian wars in the United States, the Spanish-American war and Philippine Insurrection, soldiers, sailors and marines who served in the United States Army, Navy, or Marine Corps  [[Orig. Op. Page 2]] between April 6, 1917,  and the date upon which peace is finally concluded with the German government and its allies, or soldiers, sailors and marines who served in the Army, Navy or Marine Corps of the United States in any other foreign war, insurrection, or expedition, which service shall be governed by the issuance of a campaign badge by the government of the United States of America, or for any members of the armed forces of the United States in the existing war between the United States and Japan and her allies, or the existing war between the United States and Germany and her allies, and their families or the families of those deceased, [[;]] who need assistance in any city, town or precinct in this state, the Board of Commissioners of the county in which said city, town or precinct is situated shall provide such sum or sums of money as may be necessary, to be drawn upon by the commander and quartermaster, or commander and adjutant of any post, camp or chapter of any national organization of veterans now, or which may hereafter be, chartered by an act of Congress in said city or town upon recommendation of the relief committee of said post, camp or chapter:  PROVIDED, Said soldier, sailor or marine, or the families of those deceased are and have been residents of the state for at least twelve months, and the orders of said commander and quartermaster, or commander and adjutant shall be the proper voucher for the expenditure of said sum or sums of money."

            Neither the 1947 statute nor the prior enactments provide for any qualification in regard to the length of service.  Accordingly, we are of the opinion that where a veteran is otherwise qualified, he is eligible for benefits under chapter 180, Laws of 1947, in spite of the fact that he has served less than ninety days with the armed forces.

Very truly yours,

SMITH TROY
Attorney General

C. JOHN NEWLANDS
Assistant Attorney General

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