If you’re going
* What: American Legion presentation on veterans’ benefits
* When: 7 p.m. Monday
* Where: National Guard Regional Readiness Center, 100 Aquatic Circle
* Cost: Free
* Who: Any veteran and their families or widows
* Contact: John Arant at (770) 887-5708
Veterans and their families are invited to attend a free informational session about Veterans Affairs benefits Monday night.
American Legion Post 307 has organized the meeting, which is set for 7 p.m. at the National Guard Regional Readiness Center, 100 Aquatic Circle, just off Pilgrim Mill Road and Ga. 400 at Exit 16.
John Arant, a spokesman for the post, said the meeting will feature Cynthia Hayes, manager of the North Georgia Veterans Services office in Gainesville.
Hayes will present a range of information on various services and benefits available to veterans and their families, including information about a new veterans’ clinic in Oakwood.
“Meetings like this are very important because we find that many veterans and their wives or widows are unaware of the services available to them through the VA,” Arant said.
For example, he said, those who served in high-noise areas such as artillery units or on aircraft carriers may suffer increased hearing loss.
“They don’t realize, hey, if you’re hard of hearing you may have a claim with the VA. You’ve just got to go down and get in the system,” he said.
“We’ve helped a lot of people get hearing benefits … to help pay for hearing aids.”
Arant said it’s also important to register with the VA even if a veteran is currently in good health.
“We always caution especially if you are a Vietnam vet, even if your health is good, since Agent Orange was a big thing in Vietnam, you should get registered in the system,” he added. “You never know when something will break out in your health.
“We’ve lost a lot of friends that were in Vietnam to leukemia and bone cancer and all sorts of things like that.”
In addition to Hayes’ presentation, there will be an extensive question-and-answer segment during the meeting.
“Especially right now there are a lot of questions about Medicare,” Arant said. “If that’s cut back or the drug prescription program, we may have to rely on the VA for some of these medicines. So it’s important for all our local vets and their families to be well-informed.”