Manila Veterans benefit seminar planned for March 19

Tuesday, January 13, 2015
Vermalene Smith, Craighead County Veterans Service officer, is working with committee members to hold veterans benefit seminar in Manila.

Veterans and spouses of veterans will be invited to an informative seminar scheduled for March 19 at the Manila Community Center.

A Veterans Benefit Seminar will be held in an effort to share information with veterans and give them the opportunity to talk to veteran service officers, representatives from VA Medical Clinic, Disabled Veterans Outreach programs, Workforce, Small Business Association, Westminister Village, Mid-South Healthcare; Beck Pride Center; American Legion, VFW, DAV, Veterans Affairs Medical Center, and other agencies including Heroes for Hearing.

Registration is from 8:30-9 a.m. Everyone is encouraged to pre-register by calling 870-933-4598. Seating is limited. Guest speakers sharing information on claims, types of claims, service connected benefits, pension benefits, dependents indemnity compensation, health care benefits, burial benefits and more.

Rosemary Sandusky of Manila hosted a planning committee meeting on Thursday with volunteers Wendell Poteet, Dave Wallace, Elizabeth Shaneyfelt, Rosemary Sandusky and Tim Sandusky, along with Craighead County Veteran Service Officer Vermalene Smith and Mississippi County Veteran Service Officer Jim Dixon.

Mrs. Sandusky is the wife of the late Leonard Sandusky, who was a veteran. She expressed her appreciation to everyone assisting in bringing the informative seminar to Manila.

It is important for veterans and their survivors to know about the VA Benefits that they may be eligible to receive and the documents necessary to apply for the benefits, Smith said. It is of the utmost importance that veterans have their military discharge papers that includes DD-214 and NG 22 if they have served in the National Guard. Veterans cannot apply for any benefit without their discharge.

Smith said there was a Veterans Benefit Seminar in Jonesboro with 362 veterans attending with 42 providers.

"We welcome any provider who provides services to our veterans to join us," Smith said. "We are not trying sell anything. The participants are providers of services and will be there to speak with them one on one and provide the veteran with information on their particular services. There is no charge for anything that is happening March 19. This is an information seminar only."

Mrs. Sandusky expressed her appreciation to Mayor Wayne Wagner and the city for the use of the community building, Farmers Market who will help with the lunch and all of the others volunteering to help.

Dave Wallace, newly elected state representative, is retired from the military. He encouraged the veteran service officers and committee members to call him.

"I will help find answers for you," he said. "I will work with you to see what is available to help the veterans. My intention when I ran for office is to help people in our district and I will help anyone. I want to be a voice for the people in our district. Our local veteran service officers are valuable to our counties and our state."

Wallace serves on the Veterans Affairs Committee. He said he wants to form a veteran coalition among legislators to do the best for and what is right for the veterans of Arkansas.

"We enjoy the privileges and freedom we have today because of our veterans," Smith said.

The committee will meet again in two weeks. Flyers will be distributed concerning the upcoming March seminar.

A tentative schedule has been set. Doors will open at 8 a.m. giving providers time to set up. Speakers will be from 9 a.m. until noon. Lunch will be served at noon and the seminar will finish at 3 p.m. All veterans and spouses are encouraged to attend the informative meeting.

For more information, interested persons can contact Smith at (870) 933-4598.

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