Welcome To The Etchberger Veterans Service Center Of Berks County

Welcome To The Etchberger Veterans Service Center Of Berks County


The mission of our local Berks County Department of Veterans Affairs is to administer a comprehensive array of benefit programs and provide assistance services pertaining to claims to the veterans of Berks County, their dependent widows/widowers, orphans and caregivers in the most expeditious and accountable manner we can. These benefits include those provided by federal, state, and local governments, in addition to community benefits as resources. 

Claims pertaining to the following can be submitted to the Veterans Affairs: service-connected compensation, nonservice-connected pension, burial allowances, vocational and rehabilitation training, insurance, tax exemptions, emergency assistance, paralyzed and blind veteran’s pension, specialized veteran’s license plates, flag holders and headstones. We may need to refer a claimant directly to the US Department of Veterans Affairs for assistance, when required.  

Berks County Department of Veterans Affairs is not a federal or state agency and therefore does not have direct and unrestricted access to all information that is managed by the US Department of Veterans Affairs or the Pennsylvania Department of Military and Veterans Affairs. We can assist you with your search for information with these departments at any time, but we can advocate on behalf of your claim only when we enter into a limited Power of Attorney with you.

News, Notices, Announcements

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Calendar of Events

Tuesday, September 26, 2023
Event Time:12:00 AM - 12:00 AM
Event Time:12:00 AM - 12:00 AM
Event Time:12:00 AM - 12:00 AM
Thursday, September 28, 2023
Event Time:12:00 AM - 12:00 AM
Sunday, October 1, 2023
Event Time:10:00 AM - 10:00 AM
Tuesday, October 3, 2023
Event Time:12:00 AM - 12:00 AM
Event Time:12:00 AM - 12:00 AM

Featured Links

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eterans Registry Logo

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Veterans and Survivors VA Benefits Presentation

Additional Resources

The Berks County Board of Commissioners, in appreciation for the many sacrifices made by our military veterans, takes great pride in supporting its Department of Veterans Affairs in making available to those veterans and their dependents, the services and benefits that follow.

For a list of Berks County Veteran Service Organizations and Non-Profits 

View Financial Field Manual

Disclaimer: The field manual is provided as a courtesy by the Pennsylvania Department of Military and Veterans Affairs through the Berks County Department of Veterans Affairs. Our employees are not financial planners or accountants and are not prepared or allowed to provide financial advice to veterans or their family members.

The Berks County Board of Commissioners provides two drop box locations for weathered or damaged flags to be properly retired. The drop boxes are located at:

  • The main entrance to the Berks County Agriculture Center, 1238 County Road, Leesport PA 19533. It is available to the community 24/7.
  • The main lobby of the County Services Center Building, 633 Court Street, Reading PA 19601. It is available to the community Monday - Friday from 8am -5pm (except federal holidays)
  • Reading Regional Airport (in front of the remote Berks County Sheriff's Office)
  • Berks County Veterans Affairs, 726 Cherry Street, Reading PA 19602

Flags are stored until proper retirement can be arranged. If you or your group would like to host a flag retirement ceremony, please call the Berks County Department of Veterans Affairs to make arrangements.

United States flags used to drape the coffin of a deceased military veteran can be donated to the National Cemetery at Fort Indiantown Gap, Annville PA. Our office can assist you when making the donation.

$75 County Burial Debit Card Benefit Guidance:

For a veteran or spouse of a veteran to qualify for the $75 County Burial Benefit the veteran MUST HAVE "Active-Duty Wartime Service" during a federally recognized period of war.

Federally Recognized Periods of War:

WWII--------12/7/1941 – 12/31/1946
(continuous service from 12/31/1946 – 07/26/1947 also qualifies)
Korean------6/27/1950 – 1/31/1955
Vietnam-----11/1/1955 – 5/7/1975 for veterans who DID serve in Country
Vietnam-----8/5/1964 – 5/7/1975 for veterans who DID NOT serve in Country
Persian Gulf---8/2/1990 – Present (End date TBD by Presidential Proclamation or law)

*A veteran without active-duty service documented on their Discharge Documents(s) within the dates listed above ARE NOT entitled to the county burial benefit*

After verification of wartime service:

The following documents must be Emailed to the Berks County Veterans Affairs at Veterans@countyofberks.com or Csaunders@countyofberks.com

DD-214/DD-215 or military discharge document
Death Certificate
Funeral Bill/Invoice:

  • If the bill is marked "Paid in full," then the person listed on the statement receives the refund. 
  • If the account is not marked "Paid in full," the funeral home gets a refund.

If there are questions regarding this guidance or eligibility of a veteran or dependent for this benefit please reach out to CVSO Collet Saunders at 610-378-5601 Ext. 2654

Requesting Condolence Cards:

To request condolence cards, please email Collet Saunders csaunders@countyofberks.com and tell her how many of the Condolence Cards you need.  When she has the order ready for you, she will let you know when you can come by to pick them up.  If you have any questions, please call (610) 378-5601, Ext. 2654


Veterans County Burial Application

Widow County Burial Application

Headstone Reimbursement



The Etchberger Veterans Service Center a.k.a. the Berks County Department of Veterans Affairs is proud to announce our newly formed Berks County Veterans Temporary Assistance (BCVTA) Grant Program beginning February 2022. With seed funding sponsorships from the PA Department of Military and Veterans Affairs(PADMVA) Veterans Trust Fund, PA LINK to Aging and Disability Resources (ARDC) Abilities in Motion, and Visions Federal Credit Union; the fund will be used as a supplemental community resource in Berks County to support veterans and their families who are facing recent financial hardship and need temporary support to overcome hurdles encountered outside of their own control.

This is a veterans fund specifically designed to raise funds in Berks County and to serve Berks County Veterans and their families in need with support and direct oversight from the Berks County Controllers Office.

Requests for support will be based on the following eligibility criteria:

    1. Active-Duty Military Service (DD214 or Military Discharge Documents)
    2. Recent Event (within the past 1-year, outside applicants’ control)
    3. Financial Need (Monthly Expenses meet or exceed gross household income)
      1. Sudden and Unexpected
        1. Loss of Income, and/or
        2. Increase in Expenses
    4. Request for Assistance for Necessities of Life (i.e. Bus Passes, Emergency Shelter, Food, Utilities, Vehicle repair for work, etc.)
    5. Over 60 years of age
    6. Under 60 years of age but living with a disability

*Request for support shall not exceed $500 within a calendar year*
If you or someone you know would like to support this fund, we would appreciate all donations at The Etchberger Veterans Service Center or directly to:
Tompkins VIST Bank
1210 Rockland Street
Reading PA 19604
Berks County Veterans Affairs
Temporary Assistance Grant Fund (Private)
Account: *******760

Thank you for your consideration and support.
List of all VA Approved Mobile Applications for your smartphone- VA App Store | VA Mobile

Disclaimer: The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) continues to improve access to VA benefits for veterans and their families by making it easier to file and check the status of your claims with online resources like www.ebenefits.va.gov and www.VA.gov. Prior to filing a claim, our office encourages you to speak with a Nationally Accredited and Certified Veterans Services Officer (VSO) given the complexity of the VA claims process. For a list of Accredited National Service Organizations, visit https://www.va.gov/vso/.