Veterans and veteran family members can take advantage of benefits reserved for those who served at their local Veteran Service Offices.
Putnam County Veteran Service Officer Mark Harris said veterans not knowing assistance is available is a common thing.
“We help them enroll in VA healthcare. We can help them file for claims for compensation or pension claims,” Harris said. “We can help family members navigate through stressful times when they have a lost of a veteran.”
Van Buren County Veteran Service Officer Johnny Crain said his office regularly provides veteran families with headstones and grave markers.
“I will tell you something that I do a lot is getting these plaques for the end of the graves,” Crain said. “That tells that they were in the military and when and what branch.”
Both offices also help veterans file for discharge, arrange PTSD treatment and employment assistance. Crain said he has even helped veterans set up appointments for hearing aids and cataract surgeries.
“I have applied for their discharge DD-214,” Crain said. “I have applied for medical records where they have been in the hospital or whatever. I have applied for medals for them.”
Harris said if you come across a veteran who is in need, to contact your local service office,
“You often see some unfortunately on our corners with signs that are needing some help,” Harris said. “Safely pull over if you can a take a moment to see if you can help them. As a matter of fact, like today I just went over to a homeless vet and his family trying to get him a place to stay the next couple of nights through veterans day.”
You can contact the Putnam office at (931)-526-2432 and Van Buren at (931) 946-9908.