A new study suggests this is a common problem. A small study done with U.S. Vets revealed that many veterans may not be aware that they have end-of-life benefits, such as palliative care and hospice. The study only included 17 veterans, small indeed, and therefore can't be interpreted broadly. Many factors can contribute to a veterans awareness of VA benefits - location, duration of service, etc., so this small study done on one group of veterans from the same area doesn't represent a wide enough population to be conclusive. However, I've had enough experience with this to believe it's a problem.
My father is a Vietnam Vet, having served for the Coast Guard Reserves. He was discharged immediately after his tours and has used little of the VA benefits available to him. When asked, he didn't know what, if any, medical care was available to him, including end-of-life care. My father-in-law has a longer history with the military, having served in the Marines for 30 years and fighting in both Korea and Vietnam. Even he was unaware of the extent of the VA benefits until just recently. He's now taking advantage of several medical services but when I asked what kind of end-of-life care was available to him, he replied that he didn't know.
Every VA hospital has a palliative care consult team and there are many inpatient VA hospice units throughout the country. The VA benefit also includes home hospice referrals. This is a benefit available to all U.S. veterans. If you want additional information about the VA hospice benefit, visit the Veteran's Administration website.