The American Legion is stepping up to help the many veterans who are struggling to get treatment, help, or benefits from the VA by setting up temporary Veterans Crisis Command Centers in cities around the country.
These Crisis Centers are staffed with American Legion national staff members as well as local members, VA staff, and local volunteers from other organizations. Veterans can receive assistance in enrolling in the VA system, scheduling appointments, filing claims, and accessing their VA Disability Benefits. The VA is working closely with the American Legion, providing these Crisis Centers with trained VA specialists, including nurses and counselors.
The Crisis Centers are set up at local American Legion posts, usually for a period of 4 days. The first day, they hold a town hall meeting where veterans can ask questions and get information. The remainder of the time, veterans receive one-on-one attention from counselors who determine how best to meet their needs, channeling them to staffers who can help them.
So far, the American Legion has conducted these Veterans Crisis Command Centers in Phoenix, El Paso and Fayetteville, NC, providing much needed assistance to over 1800 veterans or family members. In El Paso, 74 veterans were told that they qualified for over $460,000 in benefits they’d never received!
Verna Jones, Director of the American Legion’s Veterans’ Affairs and Rehabilitation Division, said of the El Paso experience, “The VA did an outstanding job. Their employees were genuinely happy to be there and they took a lot of time to make sure veterans were getting the help they needed.”
The next two Veterans’ Crisis Command Centers will open Monday, July 14 (today!) in Ft. Collins, CO, and St. Louis, MO, and run through July 18 in both locations.
Future locations will include Clarksburg, W VA; Harlingen, TX; and White City, OR.
To check on dates and locations, go to the American Legion website at http://www.legion.org, or contact your local American Legion post.
Thanks to the American Legion for providing outstanding service to our veterans!