Veterans' Corner: Lack of information veterans' worst enemy
By BY FRANK TORRES
May 4, 2014 at 12:04 a.m.
I just returned from Afghanistan and was honorably discharged. I know there are places where I can go to seek information on benefits that I may be eligible for. My uncle is a Vietnam veteran, and he has never applied and has no idea where a veteran should go for these services. I will appreciate all the information that you can provide.
First, I want to thank you for your service. The biggest deterrent for veterans seeking or looking into their Veterans Affairs benefits is the lack of information.
This information is very important for our servicemen who are now serving, retired and the thousands who have served and are back home trying to re-adjust to being husbands, wives, fathers and good civilians. Keeping our veterans informed on all benefits should be an ongoing effort through all available communication means.
We, the service officers, are the first ones to notice that there are not enough veterans applying for or seeking information on benefits that they have earned and deserve.
Many of the veterans who come to our office have no idea what benefits may be available to them. Many have never heard that there are places where they can go and seek medical help and other benefits.
Here in Victoria, we have a Victoria Veterans Affairs Outpatient Clinic that provides first-class medical help. They also house several resident doctors and nurses. You will also find a permanent social worker who will sit with you and help you obtain any specific or special care for you or your dependent child or spouse. You will also find a Texas Veterans Commission representative at the clinic.
There are other veteran services in Victoria. The Texas Workforce Commission houses a Texas Veterans Commission Employment service officer. Victoria County also provides a Texas Veterans Commission representative.
Remember that the Disabled American Veterans service officers are always ready and honored to help our veterans who have served and were discharged with an other than a dishonorable discharge. An honorable discharge is required to receive benefits.
Please make time to come by our office to check on your benefits. Be sure to bring some type of identification and your Separation Paper DD214.
Oh, by the way, bring your uncle with you and do me and all our veterans a favor and pass this information on to others.
Thank you for your question.
Frank Torres is an officer for Victoria Disabled American Veterans Chapter 169 and offers military benefit information and advice for Victoria and surrounding counties.