Last month the Cherokee VA held a open house for their new office located on the Fourth Street entrance of the Northwest Realty building. With a surprising number of guest turning out for the open house.
Cherokee's Veteran Affairs Director Dana Evans said that the new office is working out great for the needs of the Veterans.
So far the numbers of veterans that have been coming into the new office has dramatically increased. "We're out of the dungeon" said Evans (referring to the old office at the County County House) "We have better parking, so it is easier for the vets to stop by."
The Legion Auxiliary provide treats for everyone who attendant "Claudia Brown and the ladies of the Auxiliary did a fabulous job on helping us with the open house" said Evans.
Also there was door prizes given out and the winners where Terry Graybill who won a P.O.W flag, Mick Mallory who won a U.S. flag and Mike Leckband, won a small U.S. flag (first time I won anything.)
Now that the office is up and running the focus shifts back to where it belongs. "There are many programs that the VA offers that people just don't know about." said Evans. Evens referred the the Remember our troops list that the Chronicle Times prints periodically "The families of those soldiers should come down and talk to me, there are thing I can do for them right now" said Evans.
Part of the service the VA provides is making sure that Veterans get all the information that they need for all the benefits that they are entitled to.
If they don't know about all the programs that are in place the chance of them the chances of them using the programs are very slim.
One of the most over looked programs that the VA has to offer is for Women Veterans. According to the Department of Veterans Affairs Center for Women Veterans, it is estimated approximately eight percent of veterans today are women and by the year 2010, this will increase to nearly fifteen percent. Currently, the population of women veterans is estimated to be about 1.7 million.
The current war is like no other in terms of the female warrior. It has produced the fist woman to be awarded the Silver Star for actions in combat.
There have been female Prisoners of War, many killed and many more seriously wounded, including multiple amputees. Beside the physical wounds, these women also have the hidden wounds of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and other mental health issues that result form combat exposure.
The goal is to promote and assure VA policies, practices, and programs are responsive to the needs of women veterans.
For more information on this program and other program the VA has to offer, call Dana Evans at 225-6319 or stop by the Cherokee County Veteran Affairs office at 228 1/2 West Main Street.