There are a wide varitiy of issues confronting veterans and their VA benefits while they live overseas. From international tax issues and conforming to your country's health care system, to DoD overseas base access, these can be quite confusing at times.
DoD installation access:
Service-connected veterans at 0% to 90%:
Disabled veterans with disabilities evaluated anywhere from 0% to 90% are now authorized PX/BX exchange and commissary privileges in Germany. Please see the following link for detailed information on what is needed to obtain your installation pass (which is not a DoD ID card);
Please note; currently this is only valid for Germany. DoD Installation access for Belgium, The Netherlands, Italy, Poland, Spain, Greece, the UK, and Romania are still pending guidance with the Host nation in question.
For veterans living elsewhere where there are U.S. DoD installations, you'll need to check with your SOFA to see how this is regulated.
Service-connected veterans evaluated at 100% (including IU):
Disabled veterans evaluated at a combined evaluation of 100% or due to 100% Individual unemployability (IU), with an Honoralbe discharge, are authorized DoD installation access by being issued a DoD Uniformed Services ID card (DD2765). To obtain your DoD ID you'll generally need to present a copy of your DD214 and either a copy of your Rating decision or "Commissary letter" to the RAPIDS site. Once entered into DEERS (if not done so already), they will issues you a DD2765. For reference, please see AR 600-8-14, AFI 36-2036 (section 18), Marine Corps Order 5512.11E or BUPERS Instruction 1750.10D.
Dependents (Spouses and any minor children) of 100% disabled veterans are also authorized the dependent ID card (DD1173). If they are not established in DEERS, then you'll need to produce copies (in English) of the marraige certificate and birth certificates. Also if either the veteran or the spouse were previously married, copies of all divorce decrees (also in English) will also be needed.
For further reference for veterans living in Europe, see AE 600-700, 15-2;
Please note that 100% disabled veterans are not authorzied APO privileges as of 2018 (see AE 600-700, 15-4a(10). Also, although AE 600-700, section 15 shows entitlement to legal services for 100% disabled veterans, this is only meant to encompass DoD retirees; See AR 27-3(14b). 100% disabled veterans in Germany are authroized PX/BX and Commissary privleges as long as they are in possession of the "Pink Card."
For 100% disabled veterans living in Belgium and the Netherlands, please see AE 600-700, 15-5c(1). For 100% disabled veterans living in Italy, please see AE 600-700,15-5c(2). For veterans living elsewhere where there are U.S. DoD installation, please check with your SOFA that governs your conutry.
Surviving spouses of 100% disabled veterans (including 100% IU):
Surviving spouses of deceased veterans that were in receipt either 100% disability compensation or 100% disability compensation due to Individual Unemployability (IU), are authorized a DoD ID card (DD1173). See AR 600-8-14/AFI 36-2036, table 1.8. For additional reference for surviving spouses living in Germany, see AE 600-700, 13-1, Table 7, rule 8, and 13-12 through 13-16.
DoD next Generation Uniformed Services ID Cards:
As of December 2020 DoD is transitioning to a new look ID card;