One of the goals for the Cherokee County Veterans Affairs Office for 2009 is a more aggressive out-reach program.
According to the Cherokee County Veterans Director, Dana Evans, the office will be focusing on meeting with area clubs and organizations to get them more involved with the county veterans needs. "I'll be getting out of the office and see more people and just visit with them to get the word out," said Evans.
Currently, Evans attends many local events like the Cherokee Home Show, Cherokee Rodeo, Cherokee County Fair and he hosts the annual Veteran Appreciation Day held in September. Evans also has been featured on Around Siouxland on KTIV, Sioux City, and does a monthly radio spot all to get the word out to area veterans.
That 'word' is what the Cherokee County Veterans Affairs Office has to offer for area veterans to get what is entitled to them. According to Evans his office provides veterans with disability claims. Not all claims are that of serious disability. Many veterans are entitling to claims regarding minor injuries that occurred while on active duty, such as hearing loss and tendonitis.
Evans would also like to see members of a veteran's family to help the veteran get more involved with the VA.
"Pride has a lot to do with why many veterans don't seek help, but our motto around here has always been 'Veterans helping Veterans,'" said Evans.
There are many issues that a veteran faces, such as traumatic brain injury, back or knee pain, emotional problems, and thoughts of suicide. Many benefits that a veteran is entitled to also is entitled to their spouses and there are many programs that help families cope with the struggles that come with veteran issues.
Sometime just talking helps, and Evans has designed the Cherokee Veterans Affairs Office in such a way that it feels more comfortable for a veteran than most VA offices. Evans has decorated his office with military memorabilia to give an atmosphere of familiarity to his clients. Plus, Evans has started a small library and video collection open to all.
If you're a veteran or a family member of a veteran, contact the Cherokee Veterans Affairs office to see just what the office has to offer you. The Cherokee Veterans Affairs office is located at 228 ½ W. Main St. or call 225-6319. Hours are 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
If you are veteran and in need of immediate help, you are welcome to call Evans at home at 282-4360.