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A1.It’s extremely important for a patient to have as much family support as possible while undergoing medical treatment, however there are certain financial issues to consider. All Reserve/National Guard Soldiers E-6 and below are required to live in the barracks. If you decide to come you will have to obtain outside housing at your own expense. You need to decide if you can afford living in a hotel and the meal expenses that are associated. While San Antonio has many temporary living establishments they still can be costly. Before you decide to come you need to make sure you have the financial resources to cover these expenses. For Reserve/National Guard officers and soldiers E7 and above they will be housed in the guesthouse so you need to decide if you can live out of a hotel and afford the meal expenses that are associated with it.
A.2The decision to accompany your active duty spouse is different. The determining factor for reimbursement of expenses is based upon whether a solider is attached or assigned. If the active duty soldier is attached to BAMC, a permanent change of station entitlements is not authorized. The soldier’s Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) will be drawn off their previous location. This means that any housing expenses will be incurred by the spouse. If the active duty soldier is assigned to BAMC it is classified as a Permanent Change of Station (PCS), which entitles all authorized expenses. In this case the soldier will have to obtain permanent housing upon in-processing so you may want to consider waiting to come until that is established.
A3.In order for the Army to reimburse you to come and assist your spouse/ family member you must first receive Invitational Travel Orders (ITO). Without these orders you cannot be reimbursed for any expenses occurred. Additionally, the Army will only reimburse those individuals specifically named on the orders. Any expenses incurred by a person not in possession of an ITO will be responsible for all expenses, to include travel, per diem, meals and lodging. This includes children, their individual names must be on the order.
A4.The most important thing to understand about ITO’s is that it is a reimbursement process. Once you have incurred the expenses you will be reimbursed. It’s recommended you bring three to four days of monetary funds to cover lodging and food costs. This is needed to allow time for the processing of your travel voucher. The Military Personnel Branch, Patient Services Section will assist you filing your travel voucher. In order for your travel voucher to be processed timely you will need to have copies of paid lodging and travel receipts; receipts for meals is not necessary. You will also need to have account and routing numbers for a checking or savings account. The Department of Defense uses an electronic funds method to reimburse for expenses. A voided check is recommended. Within the first few days of arriving you should stop by the section (Building 3642) to set up an appointment to complete your first travel voucher. They are open Monday-Friday, 0730-1600 (Closed Federal and Training Holidays).
A5.Military Personnel Branch, Patient Personnel Section is available to assist you. Please feel free to contact us with your questions. POC is @ 210-916-2205