Local Chapter of DAV Available To Help Homeless Veterans
The local chapter of the Disabled American Veterans stands ready to help homeless disabled veterans find shelter and aid. Local DAV Chapter Commander Larry Hill says that it is the duty the nonprofit charitable organization to write claims for disabled American veterans and their dependents. “We have situations where we help guys try to get shelter because there are some who are homeless,” he explained.
“We try to have a bond between the [Carl Vinson] Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Dublin and ourselves so that when this happens, we can talk with people from the VA to see if they have rooms available for anyone. If they do, we send the veterans there, and the professionals at that VA try to help the veterans get back up on their feet,” Hill said.
Assistance that veterans can receive when being housed at the VA includes drug and alcohol addiction/ abuse and counseling.
According to Hill, this sort of partnership between the parties is not unique, as the DAV works as the middleman between veterans and the VA. “Up in Atlanta, they have a DAV office on one side and a VA office on the other,” he explained. “We are working to help these veterans get what they need.” Some examples of aid that the DAV helps to get for veterans is for medical care and even compensation for wives of deceased veterans. “We are making sure that everyone has what they need,” Hill shared.
Hill said one of the first things that has to occur to begin the process of receiving help from the DAV is to prove that individuals are truly disabled veterans. This may be proven through the DD214 military form, which verifies service and eligibility for benefits, as well as what form of discharge (honorable, dishonorable, less than honorable) the veteran has received. “Our organization has a tendency to get all three [types of discharged veterans], but we are still able to work with them,” he added.
If someone is unable to produce their DD214, Hill has a form and contact he can use to retrieve that information so that the DAV may begin working with these veterans. Once that information is verified, Hill can begin working on behalf of the veterans..
“I don’t get paid for this. It’s about self satisfaction,” he remarked. He said that the group is only funded through donations, which Hill receives from businesses like Trane, Cintas, Paul Thigpen Chevrolet, and Ameris Bank. “They’re the ones that help us be able to do this.” Currently, the group meets weekly on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. at the Vidalia Municipal Annex to discuss cases and to fellowship with each other. Hill said these meetings are the best times to visit the group and discuss joining. The DAV also meets every third Thursday of the month at 5 p.m. “We’re just working to help each other. We all understand the hardships of being a veteran and we’re all working together,” he concluded.