We recently received a very interesting question from a reader named Steve. It said, “I would like to see an article which spells out which Lifeline companies offer an additional bonus to the honorably discharged U.S. military veteran.”
Great idea, we thought. We’ll research that immediately and include the information we find into an excellent article that will help those men and women who sacrificed so much so that we might live free in this great country.
So we went to work. We went to the websites of all the major Lifeline Assistance companies — Safelink Wireless, Assurance Wireless, Access Wireless, Budget Mobile, Life Wireless, Assist Wireless, Q Link Wireless, Telscape Communications, Total Call Mobile, Blue Jay Wireless, Terracom, True Wireless, Tag Mobile and StandUp Wireless — and scoured each of their Terms & Conditions in search of extra benefits for vets.
We came up nearly empty. Thirteen of the fourteen leading Lifeline companies offer absolutely nothing for veterans. In fact, we came up with almost nothing beyond the information provided by reader Steve. As he said, this was “hidden deep in their TOS (Terms of Service), and then it’s at company discretion.”
Life Wireless “Connecting Our Heroes” Program
Life Wireless will provide 100 free additional minutes each month to qualifying Life Wireless Lifeline subscribers who are active military service members or military veterans. Minutes do not roll over and are not transferable. The additional benefit is offered at Life Wireless’ sole discretion.
In other words, the poor military vet must qualify using the same rules and regulations used by every other applicant. The sacrifices they’ve made mean nothing when it comes to getting a free government cell phone.
Don’t get us wrong. We’re not downplaying this generous offer from Life Wireless. In fact, we salute them for adding a little bonus for veterans. But where are all the other Lifeline companies? And why isn’t “Disabled Veteran” status enough to qualify someone for this program?
Here’s something else we found online from an organization called Lifeline Facts:
An estimated 10-13% of current wireless Lifeline beneficiaries are veterans of U.S. military service. A substantial number of younger families with active duty military personnel also rely upon wireless Lifeline. The Lifeline program helps provide an essential need to individuals who have served or are currently serving our country.
That is a shocking statistic. It’s irrefutable evidence of just how great the need is among veterans and their families. It’s a need that desperately needs to be addressed and we were ready to salute the organization that brought it to our attention.
Until, that is, we found out who was behind Lifeline Facts. Delve a little deeper into the organization’s website and you find this statement:
The Lifeline Facts Campaign is a project of TracFone Wireless, Inc. that is dedicated to highlighting Lifeline’s value to America, promoting productive reforms to the program, preventing changes to the program that will reduce its effectiveness, and recruiting a community of Lifeline “team members” dedicated to ensuring the continued success of one of America’s most vital programs.
TracFone Wireless is the parent company of Safelink Wireless, the nation’s largest provider of free government cell phones. So it’s clear that the company recognizes the need among military veterans and their families, yet they do nothing — absolutely nothing — to address the issue.
C’mon, TracFone. C’mon, Safelink. C’mon all you other Lifeline Assistance free government cell phone companies. Step up. Do the right thing. Make it easier for America’s military veterans to qualify. Follow the footsteps of Life Wireless and offer them a little something extra.
Lord knows they’ve done a little something extra for us.