The Survivor Link, Issue 2 ~ September 2021

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September 2021

The Survivor Link: Issue 2

     The Survivor Link is the Army Survivor Outreach Services Newsletter. This newsletter is published on a quarterly basis to provide information about benefits changes, program updates, opportunities to connect with other survivors and to stay linked to the Army.

      Army Survivors can subscribe to The Survivor Link at any time. To subscribe just follow the link in this newsletter. You can choose to have the Survivor Link delivered to your email address or as a text message to your cell phone.

      When you subscribe, you will be asked a few questions. Please complete your first name, the component of your Soldier (Regular Active Army, US Army National Guard or US Army Reserve), your relationship to the Soldier (spouse, child, parent, staff or other), and your State of residence.

DCS G9 Letter to Survivors about Afghanistan


US Map

Find an SOS Coordinator

Did you know that the Army has more than 150 Survivor Outreach Service Coordinators ready to assist Surviving Families who are having problems with benefits such as the Survivor Benefit Plan, TRICARE, or education benefits? 

Click on the map to use the SOS Coordinator Locator and find the coordinator nearest to your home. 

Navigating the Road to Secure Your Family's Future

One of the most common messages that the Survivor Outreach Services team hears from families is that they wish they knew more before they lost their Soldier. Whether its understanding benefits or about their Soldier's wishes, the team published Navigating the Road to Secure Your Family’s Future to help educate and provide Army Families with tools to plan for the future.  This interactive guide is an opportunity to learn a little more about the various estate planning documents in the military, the benefits and entitlements that a family may receive and how all the pieces fit together. The goal was to help ease a little of the worry about finances and insurance for families. While this was created as a planning tool, it includes resources to better explain benefits you may be receiving today and how to get more information as your journey continues.

Navigating the Road to Secure Your Family's Future - 10 June 2021.pdf


The SBP-DIC Offset Phased Elimination - What's Next?

The Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS) is continuing the phased elimination of the SBP-DIC Offset which began in January of 2021 and will continue through January 2023. For additional information for Active Duty/Line of Duty Surviving Spouses, please look at the following article. 

SBP-DIC Offset Elimination - Special Information for Active Duty/Line of Duty Surviving Spouses

Graduation Cap

Planning for college? 

If you are in high school and considering furthering your education, this is the time to start researching and applying for financial assistance. There are many opportunities to receive military education benefits, merit and need-based scholarships and financial aid. Make these opportunities work for you by researching and applying early. Check out the link below for some helpful tips.

Tips to Afford College

Dial and Dine: Financial Education Call for Military Survivors

Hosted by the Ft. Leonard Wood SOS Financial Counselor

What: These calls, held at least quarterly, provide a forum for Military Survivors and friends to ask questions on education tools and to better understand identity theft minimization, saving and investing, estate planning considerations, tax issues, insurance, potential financial resources and budgeting concerns in creating financial success and hear from various guest presenters and other peers.   

Where: The Call number is (1-605-475-5910; Access Code 7681905#)

When:  The next live call is Wednesday, October 20, 2021 7:00 pm Central

Survivor Access Card Announcement:

ID Card

The Army Physical Security Regulation established the Survivor Access Card to enable surviving family members an access card to obtain entry onto an Army Installation. The Office of the Provost Marshall General approved an exception to policy to expand eligibility for the Survivor Access Card for spouses, children and parents of Army National Guard and Reserve Soldiers. For more information on how to obtain a Survivor Access Card please contact your Survivor Outreach Services Coordinator.

Survivor Access Card Memo

Digital Garrison App Image


The Army launched the new Digital Garrison mobile app that provides information and facilitates access to a full array of on-post services, as part of a partnership with the Army & Air Force Exchange Service, or AAFES. The app, which can be downloaded on Android and Apple devices, puts real-time information into Soldiers’, families’, and civilians’ hands and keeps military communities connected, a key part of readiness and resiliency. Within the easy-to-use app, Soldiers, Families, Survivors of the Fallen, veterans, and civilians living or working at a Digital Garrison-enabled post can access resources about their local exchange; Army Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation program; and other services. Digital Garrison includes an installation directory, gate information and hours, Survivor Access Card information, Gold Star Lapel Pin/ Next of Kin Lapel Button replacement instructions, DFAS myPay Account instructions and more.