LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – The Michigan Dept of Military & Veterans Affairs has information and resources for local veterans regarding the COVID-19 global pandemic.
Today, Gov. Whitmer issued a “Stay Home, Stay Safe” executive order that directs residents to stay in their homes unless they’re a part of that critical infrastructure workforce, engaged in an outdoor activity such as exercise or walking the dog, and performing tasks necessary to the health as well as safety of themselves or their family, like going to the hospital or grocery store.
Effective at 12:01 am on March 24, 2020, for at least the next three weeks, individuals may only leave their home or place of residence under very limited circumstances, and they must adhere to social distancing measures recommended by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention when they do so. Get Michigan COVID-19 updates at Michigan.gov/Coronavirus.
President Trump authorized National Guard troops in New York, California and Washington states to operate under a status that allows them to be managed by state governors, but be paid by the federal government, according to a report by Military Times. The move will make it easier for states, already facing increasing costs as a result of the pandemic, to call in the National Guard if needed to help deal with the problems caused by COVID-19.
The National Guard activity is not a sign of pending martial law, according to a report from the Army Times.
“The Michigan National Guard has been involved with the COVID-19 response from a planning and coordination standpoint since the SEOC was stood up,” said Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. The men and women of the Michigan National Guard are part of the fabric of our communities and I am confident they are ready to support state and local agencies as this response continues.”
The Michigan Army National Guard has assisted the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services with assembling and loading critical personal protective gear, such as gloves, gowns and face shields. Read more here.
“The members of the Michigan National Guard are experienced and proven professionals,” said Maj. Gen. Paul Rogers, adjutant general. “Our units frequently train and respond side-by-side with state and local emergency responders, making them well suited for domestic operations. The National Guard has unique capabilities, providing local first responders with additional resources to combat COVID-19.”
The VA is suspending funeral honors and large gatherings at cemeteries due to coronavirus, effective March 23. Find out more on Military Times>>>
Federal lawmakers have approved a measure ensuring GI Bill benefits continue even as college campuses close and classes move online. The bill is expected to be signed into law by President Trump in the coming weeks.
If you have questions about your specific circumstance, please contact the Education Call Center at (888) 442 – 4551, which is open Monday-Friday between 8 AM and 7 PM Eastern Time. You can also submit a question electronically.
For information on what veterans need to know about COVID-19, see these Coronavirus FAQs on the VA website. Also, read the VA’s public health response here.