State / Territory Benefits - Hawaii


State Taxes
Education Benefits
Employment Benefits
Unemployment Compensation
Department of Transportation Benefits
Health Insurance Benefits
Parks & Recreation Benefits
Resource Locator
Miscellaneous Benefits
Veterans Administration (VA) Medical Facilities


Summary: Hawaii offers special benefits for its military Service members and Veterans including State Tax Advantage, Property Tax Exemptions, Hawaii National Guard Tuition Scholarship Program, Vehicle License Plates, Tax exemption on passenger cars, Preference in State and County Classified Employment, as well as State Veterans Cemetery benefits. Eligibility for some benefits may depend on residency, military component, and Veteran disability status.

State Benefit Highlights and Eligibility

State Taxes:

State Tax Advantage: (HRS §235-7(a)(3)) Income received by members of the Army Reserve or the Hawaii National Guard as compensation for performance of duty, equivalent to pay received for forty-eight drills (equivalent of twelve weekends) and fifteen days of annual training duty, at a pay grade of E-1 through E-5 after is exempt from state taxation.
Eligibility: Service member must have eight years of service in order to qualify for the exemption.

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Retired Military Pay: Not taxed

Military Disability Retired Pay: Retirees who entered the military before September 24, 1975, and members receiving disability retirements based on combat injuries or who could receive disability payments from the VA are covered by laws giving disability broad exemption from federal income tax. Most military retired pay based on service-related disabilities also is free from federal income tax, but there is no guarantee of total protection.

VA Disability Dependency and Indemnity Compensation: Not subject to federal or state taxes.

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Military SBP/RCSBP/RSFPP: SBP is not taxed as per HRS §235-7(a) (3).

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Property Tax Exemptions: (HRS §14-246-29) Real property owned and occupied as a home by any person who is totally disabled due to injuries received while on duty with the U.S. Armed Forces is exempt from all property taxes, other than special assessments.
Eligibility: The exemption remains in place with no expiration, provided:

  • The Veteran provides proof of service and disability (DD214 and award letter from the Department of Veterans Affairs)

  • The Veteran claiming exemption remains 100% disabled

  • The exemption is not allowed on more than one house for any one person

  • That the property in which the Veteran resides is not used for a commercial purpose.

Non-remarried surviving Spouses of disabled Veterans are also eligible for the tax exemption, provided the Spouse submits proof of marriage and the deceased Veteran's disability.

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Passenger Vehicle Tax Exemption: (HRS §14-249-6) Tax exemptions on passenger vehicles are granted when they are owned by totally disabled Veterans.
Eligibility: The exemption is valid provided:

  • The Veteran is totally and permanently disabled due to an injury sustained while serving in the U.S. Armed Forces

  • The Veteran is the registered owner of the vehicle

  • The vehicle is subsidized by the Department of Veterans Affairs.

The exemption shall not extend to vehicles used for commercial purposes or to more than one vehicle registered to the Veteran.

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Education Benefits:

Hawaii Kupono Diploma Program: The Hawaii State Department of Education (DOE) Kupono Diploma Program grants honorary high school diplomas to World War II, Korean, and Vietnam War era Veterans, as well as individuals whose schooling was interrupted due to internment in relocation camps during World War II. Download the application here​.
Eligibility: Veterans applying for this program must match the following criteria:

  • Veterans must have been enrolled in a State of Hawaii public high school prior to enlistment in military service.

  • Evidence of military status eligibility must be included with the program application (DD214 or Enlisted Record with proof of honorable discharge).

  • Military service must have been during World War II, the Korean War, or Vietnam War.

  • Internees must have been enrolled in a State of Hawaii public school prior to internment, and must provide evidence of being interned in a relocation camp.

Under this program, qualified Veterans or internees who successfully completed a General Education Diploma (GED) program will also be granted an honorary high school diploma. Diplomas may also be awarded posthumously and awarded to Family members. There is no cost to participate in the Kupono Diploma Program.

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Residency for Tuition Purposes (Service members and dependents): Non-resident military Service members who are stationed in Hawaii and their dependents are eligible to attend colleges in Hawaii at the resident tuition rate.
Eligibility: Students must provide a copy of the Service member's military orders during the application process.

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Residency for Tuition Purposes (Veterans): Effective spring 2015, non-resident Veterans who were honorably discharged within 3 years of enrollment at the University and are eligible for GI Bill education benefits may qualify for and pay in-state resident tuition. Eligible students must complete and submit the Veteran Exemption to Non-Resident Tuition Rate Form and provide a copy of their DD-214 and VA Certificate of Eligibility to the Office of Admissions prior to the first day of instruction for the semester in which the exemption is being requested. Dependents are eligible for this benefit if GI Bill benefits are transferred to them.

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Hawaii National Guard State Tuition Assistance Program: The Hawaii National Guard State Tuition Assistance Program provides 100% coverage to community colleges and 50% coverage to four-year colleges.
Eligibility: The adjutant general, subject to the availability of funds, may award tuition assistance to qualified enlisted persons, warrant officers, and company grade officers (0-1 through 0-3) in the Hawaii National Guard.

Primary Point of Contact:
Phone: 808-672-1019

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Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children: It is the purpose of this compact to remove barriers to educational success imposed on Children of military Families because of frequent moves and deployment of their parents by:

  • Facilitating the timely enrollment of Children of military Families and ensuring that they are not placed at a disadvantage due to difficulty in the transfer of educational records from the previous school district or variations in entrance or age requirements.

  • Facilitating the student placement process through which Children of military Families are not disadvantaged by variations in attendance requirements, scheduling, sequencing, grading, course content or assessment. Facilitating the qualification and eligibility for enrollment, educational programs, and participation in extracurricular academic, athletic and social activities.

  • Facilitating the on-time graduation of Children of military Families.

  • Providing for the promulgation and enforcement of administrative rules implementing the provisions of this compact.

  • Providing for the uniform collection and sharing of information between and among member states, schools and military Families under this compact.

  • Promoting coordination between this compact and other compacts affecting military Children.

  • Promoting flexibility and cooperation between the educational system, parents and the student in order to achieve educational success for the student.

Primary Point of Contact:
Cherise Imai, Military Liaison Hawaii Department of Education
Address: P.O Box 2360, Honolulu, HI 96804
Phone: 808-271-5724

Kathleen F. Berg, Brig. Gen. (Ret), Hawaii State Commissioner
Address: University of Hawaii - CRDG
1776 University Ave, CMH 117, Honolulu, HI 96822
Phone: 808-956-4952

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Employment Benefits:

Employment Assistance: State and city employees receive 15 days military leave per year. Additional 15 days for civil relief on State Active Duty.
Eligibility: State and city employee on orders for Unit Training or Active Duty.

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Re-employment rights: Hawaii enforces re-employment rights for State or County government employees.
Veterans, Reservists, or National Guard members who leave a position for training or active military service.

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Veterans Hiring Preferences (Federal): By Federal law, Veterans who are disabled or who served on active duty in the United States Armed Forces during certain specified time periods or in military campaigns are entitled to preference over non-Veterans both in hiring into the Federal civil service and in retention during reduction in force. Veterans may be entitled to 5 or 10 points included in any scoring process for examination or interviews.

5-point Hiring Preference: Five points are added to the examination score or rating of a Veteran who served:

  • During a war; or

  • During the period April 28, 1952 through July 1, 1955; or

  • For more than 180 consecutive days, other than for training, any part of which occurred after January 31, 1955, and before October 15, 1976; or

  • During the Gulf War from August 2, 1990, through January 2, 1992; or

  • For more than 180 consecutive days, other than for training, any part of which occurred during the period beginning September 11, 2001, and ending on August 31, 2010, the last day of Operation Iraqi Freedom; or

  • In a campaign or expedition for which a campaign medal has been authorized. Any Armed Forces Expeditionary medal or campaign badge, including El Salvador, Lebanon, Grenada, Panama, Southwest Asia, Somalia, and Haiti, qualifies for preference.

10-point Compensable Disability (CP) Preference: Ten points are added to the examination score or rating of:

  • A Veteran who served at any time and who has a compensable service-connected disability rating of at least 10 percent but less than 30 percent.

10-Point 30 Percent Compensable Disability Preference (CPS): Ten points are added to the passing examination score or rating of a Veteran who served at any time and who has a compensable service-connected disability rating of 30 percent or more.

10-Point Disability Preference (XP): Ten points are added to the passing examination score or rating of:

  • A Veteran who served at any time and has a present service-connected disability or is receiving compensation, disability retirement benefits, or pension from the military or the Department of Veterans Affairs but does not qualify as a CP or CPS; or

  • A Veteran who received a Purple Heart.

10-Point Derived Preference (XP): Ten points are added to the passing examination score or rating of Spouses, Widows, Widowers, or Mothers of Veterans as described below. This type of preference is usually referred to as "derived preference" because it is based on service of a Veteran who is not able to use the preference. Both a Mother and a Spouse (including Widow or Widower) may be entitled to preference on the basis of the same Veteran's service if they both meet the requirements. However, neither may receive preference if the Veteran is living and is qualified for Federal employment.

Ten points are added to the passing examination score or rating of the Spouse of a disabled Veteran who is disqualified for a Federal position along the general lines of his or her usual occupation because of a service-connected disability. Such a disqualification may be presumed when the Veteran is unemployed and

  • Is rated by appropriate military or Department of Veterans Affairs authorities to be 100 percent disabled and/or unemployable; or

  • Has retired, been separated, or resigned from a civil service position on the basis of a disability that is service-connected in origin; or

  • Has attempted to obtain a civil service position or other position along the lines of his or her usual occupation and has failed to qualify because of a service-connected disability.

Preference may be allowed in other circumstances but anything less than the above warrants a more careful analysis.

A campaign medal holder or Gulf War Veteran who originally enlisted after September 7, 1980, (or began active duty on or after October 14, 1982, and has not previously completed 24 months of continuous active duty) must have served continuously for 24 months or the full period called or ordered to active duty. The 24-month service requirement does not apply to 10-point preference eligible Veterans separated for disability incurred or aggravated in the line of duty, or to Veterans separated for hardship or other reasons under 10 U.S.C. 1171 or 1173.

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State Veterans Preference for Public Employment: The State of Hawaii Department of Human Resources Development manages the Veterans Preference Program for public employment. Non-disabled Veterans receive 5 Veterans preference points; disabled Veterans receive 10 points. Preference points are added to examination scores completed by applicants for open competitive positions only.
Eligibility: In order to receive five points, an applicant must submit a copy of their DD214 verifying dates of honorable service. To receive ten points, applicants must also submit a copy of an official statement/letter from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs dated within 12 months of application confirming status as a disabled Veteran.

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Unemployment Compensation:

Unemployment Insurance: Unemployment Insurance (UI) is a state-operated program that provides temporary financial assistance to qualified workers who are unemployed through no fault of their own and meet the legal requirements of the law. Benefits are based on your past employment and attachment to the labor market rather than on your financial situation. Employers pay all costs of UI through a tax on their payrolls or on a reimbursable basis. As a worker, you do not pay any part of your wages to finance unemployment benefits or the unemployment insurance program.

To file a New, Additional, or Reopen Claim: Call 643-5555 from anywhere in Hawaii, or toll-free 1-877-215-5793 outside the State of Hawaii. To apply online, go to You must file between the hours of 6:30 am to 11:00 pm, Monday to Friday or between 9:00 am to 11:00 pm on weekends and holidays (Hawaii Standard Time). When filing online, you must print your confirmation page at the end and follow all instructions provided to you on the website after your application has been completed. You must also download and submit applicable forms as required, and read the information in the handbook.

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Veteran Unemployment Services: the Workforce Development Division (WDD) and its network of One-Stop Career Centers not only offers its array of employment and training services to Veterans, but also provides relevant applicant recruiting assistance tailored to the needs of the business community. Local Veterans Employment Representatives (LVERs) are employed at the centers to offer assistance to employers seeking to hire Veterans with specific skills and experiences. LVER staff members are Veterans themselves and have received special training at the National Veterans Training Institute (NVTI).

Job seekers can access employment search engines by visiting any WDD office or One-Stop Career Center. Additionally, Veterans may search for jobs and access other services through HireNet Hawaii. Other services for Veterans available through HireNet Hawaii are:

  • Assistance with creating resumes

  • Labor market information

  • Veteran Gold Card Services

  • Information on the Helmets to Hardhats program

  • Veterans re-employment rights

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Department of Transportation Benefits:

Hawaii Department of Motor Vehicles: A statewide Department of Motor Vehicles does not exist in Hawaii; each county has been given the responsibility of regulating and providing driver licenses and vehicle registration. The links in the following sections under Department of Transportation Benefits are provided as examples only. Copies of Chapter 286, Hawaii Revised Statutes (Sec. 41-69) relating to vehicle registration may be found here.

Customers with specific questions may contact their county driver license/state ID office:

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"Veteran" Designation for Driver License/State ID: a "Veteran" designation for Hawaii driver licenses and state ID cards is now available for eligible Veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces.
Eligibility: Veterans of the uniformed services of the United States and who were discharged under other than dishonorable conditions are eligible. Applicants must provide a completed application and proof of qualification. Acceptable documents include:

  • DD Form 214

  • NGB Form 22

  • WD AGO 53-55, NAVPERS 553, NAVMC 78PD, NAVCG 553 (Discharges prior to 1 Jan 1950)

  • Discharge certificate reflecting characterization of discharge

  • Verification letter issued by the Department of Veterans Affairs

  • Verification letter issued by the Hawaii Office of Veteran Services

Applicants whose driver's license, permit, or state ID's are not within the renewal period may add the Veteran designation by applying for a duplicate by presenting one of the documents listed above at a driver license issuing facility; regular duplicate fees will apply. There is no additional charge to add the designation during a license or ID card renewal.

Applicants for new or renewal driver's licenses, instructional permits, and state ID's are required to provide the necessary documents for proof of name, date of birth, Social Security number, principal residence, and legal presence status. Please visit the following links for details:

Customers with specific questions may contact their county driver license/State ID office at:

  • County of Hawaii: 808-961-2222

  • City/County of Honolulu: 808-532-7730

  • County of Kauai: 808-241-4242

  • County of Maui: 808-270-7363 (Molokai: 808-553-9067, Lanai: 808-565-7878)

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Vehicle Weight Tax Exemption: Members of the United States Armed Forces on active duty stationed at a military installation in Hawaii and who are residents of another state are exempt from payment of Hawaii's motor vehicle weight taxes for one vehicle registered in their name. Individuals who are members of a reserve component on temporary active duty do not qualify for this exemption. If you qualify and want to be exempt from the tax, you must submit a completed Non-Resident Certificate. A completed form is required each time you are applying for the following:

  • Renewal of a Hawaii registration.

  • Hawaii registration of a vehicle previously registered in another state or county.

  • Hawaii registration of a newly purchased vehicle, and

  • For transfer of ownership of a previously Hawaii registered vehicle.

Should you leave active duty, change your residency to Hawaii or are stationed out of the state of Hawaii but your vehicle remains in Hawaii, you are no longer exempt from Hawaii's motor vehicle weight tax. To avoid a penalty for delinquent registration, you must re-register your vehicle within 30 days of the effective date of your change in status.

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Special Vehicle License Plates: (HRS §249-9.2)For the same cost as regular license plates, qualified Veterans can acquire distinctive Veterans' license plates for their car or motorcycle. Currently available are: "Gold Star Family", "Veteran," "Combat Veteran," "Combat Wounded," "Pearl Harbor Survivor," "Purple Heart," "Former POW," "World War II Veteran" "Korean War Veteran," "Vietnam Veteran," and "Persian Gulf Veteran." An application for Specialty License Plates must be submitted to obtain these plates.
Eligibility: The applicant must submit current vehicle registration and supporting documentation for the requested plate (i.e., DD214 showing dates of service). Gold Star Family members must provide proof of relationship (marriage/birth certificate), Certificate of Casualty report, or death certificate.

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Health and Insurance Benefits:

Medical Benefits: Workers Compensation equivalent to State employees.
National Guard Service member's injury or illness occurs in Line of Duty (LOD).

Group Insurance: Hawaii Department of Defense Employee Association offers group life insurance for National Guard members, Families, and employees; HNGA offers Guard members and Families a group policy.
Member of Army/Air National Guard.

Workers Compensation: Workers Compensation equivalent to that of State employees.
Injury occurs while serving on State Active Duty.

Injury/Death Benefits: Workers Compensation equivalent to State employees less any VA payments received.
Eligibility: National Guard Service member's injury/Death occurs while serving on State Active Duty.

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Parks & Recreation Benefits:

Hunting Licenses: Active duty military personnel and their dependents stationed in Hawaii are considered to be residents for the purposes of obtaining a hunting license.

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Miscellaneous Benefits:

Hawaii National Guard Family Program: The Hawaii National Guard Family Program offers services and support of Family readiness for Service members and dependents. Links to many State and Federal programs, including Family Assistance Centers, Veteran Assistance, psychological help, and others may be found on the site as well as contact information for local support specialists.
Eligibility: Hawaii National Guard members and Families are encouraged to visit the website and take advantage of the offered programs.

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Vital Statistics: Free certified copies of vital statistics forms when needed for Veterans' claims.
Eligibility: When the Veteran's documents are to be used in determining their eligibility to participate in benefits made available by their federal agency.

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Special Housing for Disabled Veterans: Payment by the State of up to $5,000 for the purpose of purchasing or remodeling a home to improve handicapped accessibility. The award is processed through the Hawaii Office of Veterans Services pending the availability of state funds.
Eligibility: Veterans who have a permanent and total service-connected disability.

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State Veterans Cemetery: Burial in one of the Hawaii State Veterans Cemeteries (HSVC) located on Oahu, Hawaii, Kauai, Maui, Molokai, or Lanai is an honor reserved for Veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces and their eligible dependents. Family members utilize a one grave concept with interments at 4', 6', 8', and 10' depths. Cremations may be placed in a niche in the columbarium wall or inurned in a ground plot. HSVC will provide a gravesite, marker, perpetual care of the gravesite, and will open and close the grave. The Veteran's Family must pay for mortuary services provided by funeral directors and other related costs, usually including transportation of remains. There is a standard plot or interment allowance fee of $722 for each interment payable to State of Hawaii, Department of Defense. The Department of Veterans Affairs will pay the plot or interment allowance fee ($722) for wartime and peacetime Veterans. Families are responsible to pay the plot allowance fee ($722) for active duty, and dependents. When both Spouses are Veterans, two gravesites and two headstones may be provided, if requested. Funeral honors are available through the Hawaii National Guard; please click here for information and a point of contact.
This cemetery is for Veterans, their Spouses, and minor Children who are under 21 years of age or under 23 years of age if pursuing a course of instruction at an approved educational institution. Unmarried adult Children who are physically or mentally disabled and incapable of self-support before reaching the age of 21 years also are eligible for burial.

To establish burial eligibility in the Hawaii State Veterans Cemetery, a copy of the Veteran's official military discharge document with the character of discharge is required, i.e., DD21, WDAGO 53-55, or VA Statement of Service verifying the Veteran's military service. The following information must also be provided:

  • Veteran's full name, rank, branch of service, SSN/VA claim number
  • Date of entry and discharge of service
  • Date of birth and death

For additional information or assistance, please contact:
Hawaii State Veterans Cemetery
45-349 Kamehameha Highway
Kaneohe, HI 96744
(808) 233-3630 / Fax: (808) 233-3633

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Veterans Administration (VA) Medical Facilities in Hawaii:

Veterans Health Administration

VA Medical Center
Honolulu: VA Pacific Islands Health Care System, Spark M. Matsunaga VAMC, 459 Patterson Rd, 808-433-0600 / 800-214-1306

Outpatient Clinic
Honolulu: National Center for PTSD - Pacific Islands Division, 3375 Koapaka St, Suite I-560, 808-566-1546 / 1547, Fax: 808-566-1885
Kaunakakai: VA Molokai Outreach Clinic, Molokai General Hospital, 280 Home Olu Pl, 808-553-3191
Lanai City: VA Lanai Outreach Clinic, 628-B Seventh St, 808-565-6423

Community Based Outpatient Clinic
Hilo: VA Hilo Community Based Outpatient Clinic, 1285 Waianuenue Ave, Suite 211, 808-935-3781
Kahului: VA Maui Community Based Outpatient Clinic, 203 Ho'ohana St, Suite 303, 808-871-2454
Kailua-Kona: VA Kona Community Based Outpatient Clinic, 35-377 Hualalai Rd, 808-329-0774
Lihue: VA Kauai Community Based Outpatient Clinic, 4485 Pahe'e St, Suite 150, 808-246-0497 / Fax: 808-246-9349

Vet Center - 877-927-8387
Hilo: Hilo Vet Center, 70 Lanihuli St, Suite 102, 808-969-3833 / Fax: 808-969-2025
Honolulu: Honolulu Vet Center, 1680 Kapiolani Blvd, Suite F-3, 808-973-8387 / Fax: 808-973-5295
Kailua-Kona: Kailua-Kona Vet Center, Hale Kui Plaza, Suite 207, 73-4976 Kamanu St, 808-329-0574 / Fax: 808-329-2799
Kapolei: Western Oahu Vet Center, 885 Kamokila Blvd, Suite 105, 808-674-2414 / Fax: 808-674-2534
Lihue: Kauai Vet Center, 4485 Pahe'e St., Suite 101, 808-246-1163 / Fax: 808-246-4625
Wailuku: Maui Vet Center, Ting Building, 35 Lunalilo St, Suite 101, 808-242-8557 / Fax: 808-242-8559

Veterans Benefits Administration
Regional Office
Honolulu: Honolulu Regional Office, 459 Patterson Rd, E-Wing, Rm 2A100C, 800-827-1000, Fax: 808-433-0478

Intake Site (Pre-Discharge Claims Assistance)
Honolulu: Camp Smith, Department of Veterans Affairs, 459 Patterson Rd 1st floor (E-Wing)
Honolulu: Fort Shafter, Department of Veterans Affairs, 459 Patterson Rd 1st floor (E-Wing)
Honolulu: Hickam Air Force Base, Department of Veterans Affairs, 459 Patterson Rd 1st floor (E-Wing)
Honolulu: Marine Corps Base Hawaii, Department of Veterans Affairs, 459 Patterson Rd 1st floor (E-Wing)
Honolulu: Pearl Harbor Naval Base, Department of Veterans Affairs, 459 Patterson Rd 1st floor (E-Wing)
Honolulu: Sand Island Coast Guard, Department of Veterans Affairs, 459 Patterson Rd 1st floor (E-Wing)
Honolulu: Schofield Barracks, Department of Veterans Affairs, 459 Patterson Rd 1st floor (E-Wing)
Honolulu: Tripler Army Medical Center (First Floor/E-Wing), Department of Veterans Affairs, 459 Patterson Rd 1st floor (E-Wing)

National Cemetery Administration
National Cemetery
Honolulu: National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, 2177 Puowaina Dr, 808-532-3720 / Fax: 808-532-3756

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Military Installations in Hawaii

Please see the Hawaii Resource Locator for additional information

Active Duty
Army U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii

Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam

Air Force
Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam

Marine Corps Base Hawaii

National Guard:

Hawaii National Guard

Air National Guard
Army National Guard


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Document Review Date: 23 September 2015