Area war veterans had the opportunity Saturday to get information about veterans’ health care during an event at Camp Crowder.
“This is our 2014 Welcome Home Salute,” said Sarah McBride, public affairs for Veterans Healthcare System for the Ozarks, who held the event. “The event is targeted toward combat veterans, Operation Iraq Freedom, Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation New Dawn, but it is open to any veteran who wants to come and learn about information. So we have VA services, as well as veterans benefits administration here, dietitians, we have got health, disease prevention, health promotion, enrollment and eligibility specialists, just to get the word out to returning veterans or any veteran who wants to information on it, what services are available to them.”
The event was held from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Veterans could walk around, gather various information and talk to different vendors. Lunch was also provided.
One of the veterans who participated in the event was Capt. Charlie Ledgerwood, weekend training site commander at Camp Crowder.
“For me it is beneficial because I got to find out when I was deployed to Afghanistan in 2009, 2010 with the 203rd Engineers, that we had an open pit burn site at the air force base where I was stationed,” he said. “And now, there is an open burn pit registry so I need to get registered for that because I was there, in case I have health problems. I know that some of my troops have had health problems, so I am going to be calling them, letting them know about that.”
The captain also said that his staff came to the event on Saturday.
“I know that they were picking up information on the veterans hospital, making sure that they were enrolled as a veteran, VA benefits for school,” he said. “I know that some of my troops were looking at going to Crowder (College), to pick up college classes and just making sure that their benefits are lined out. I have heard several of them say that this is good.”
McBride said it was also open to other veterans such as Korea, Vietnam or the first Gulf War in the early 1990s.
“It is incredibly beneficial for the veterans that are not recently returning home veterans,” McBride said. “If they have not heard about the services or maybe they have heard misinformation from outside of the VA, this is a good place to come and get those questions answered for them, help them to determine if they are eligible, help them get the proper paperwork.”