Soldier Sailor Relief Fund helps veterans in need amid pandemic

The fund provides financial assistance to veterans and their spouses.
Published: Apr. 2, 2021 at 4:18 PM EDT
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MARQUETTE COUNTY, Mich. (WLUC) - The Marquette County Department of Veterans Affairs is reminding vets it is still open to assist them during the pandemic.

The Soldier Sailor Relief Fund was established in Michigan in 1899, originally to help fund the burials of wartime veterans. Since then, it’s expanded to meet other needs, from food assistance to taxes.

“Electric bills, water bills,” committee member Jim Provost said, listing other needs the VA can meet through the relief fund. “If they have problems with a car and they need that car for work, we can help them with some money towards that vehicle to get them back on the road.”

Provost says the Soldier Sailor Relief Fund has a $30,000 budget each year. That money is set aside for the sole purpose of helping veterans and their families get back on their feet.

“Sometimes these veterans get into a position that they can’t get out of,” said Provost. “This is a step for them to come to us, and it doesn’t just have to be a veteran. It can be a widow or a spouse that we can help.”

Provost says applications have slowed since the pandemic began.

“I think it’s due to the fact that they figure they have to come in,” Provost explained. “A lot of them don’t know that they could do this by phone, by just calling the office, and our service officers can get them started on it.”

He says he wants veterans to know despite the challenges, the VA is still open and waiting to provide relief to those who need it.

“Our goal is to help the Marquette County veterans, period,” said Provost. “Whatever it takes.”

To apply for the Soldier Sailor Relief Fund or to learn more, call the Marquette County VA at 906-485-1996. Veterans or spouses will need to provide a DD-214, proof of Marquette County residence, and financial information.

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