Iron County's Veteran Assistance Fair 'serves those who have served'

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IRON RIVER, Mich. (WLUC) - The Iron County Veterans Service Office in collaboration with the Oscar G. Johnson Veterans Affairs Medical Center hosted a Veteran Assistance Fair and their last town hall event of the week.

A veteran speaks to a local service provider from a veteran organization at the Assistance Fair. (WLUC Photo)

‘Serving those who have served’ was the motto Thursday, as veterans had the opportunity to learn about help they can receive.

"We're having a joint Veterans Assistance and a VA Town Hall presentation,” said Michigan Veteran Affairs Agency Regional Coordinator for Upper Peninsula, Frank Lombard.

Many local service providers from veteran organizations, the health care industry, and even local housing authorities were on-hand to speak to veterans.

This is the first time Iron County has hosted a fair to this magnitude.

"I think it's just an excellent thing for veterans of the area to have that many resources pulled from all over the U.P. to come here to one location for their convenience in Iron County,” said Iron County Veteran Service Office Director, Gerald Williams.

The goal of the event was to bring information to veterans they don't normally know about.

"The biggest barrier to veterans accessing the services they earned and deserve is awareness. So we love seeing veterans come out, and get engaged with the service providers, ask questions and just figure out what they didn't know about benefits that they are eligible for," said Lombard.

A town hall event also took place at the assistance fair to offer updates and information to the VA community.

They spoke about the new VA Community Care program and urgent care benefit, which was implemented June 6.

The Oscar G. Johnson VA Medical Center Veteran Experience Officer, Tim Ellison said town hall events are necessary for improvement of services.

"I love engaging veterans and we're constantly trying to improve our system and make sure we're meeting the needs of the veterans. The best way to do that is to go out and contact the veterans, talk to them,” he said.

That's exactly what the Oscar G. Johnson VA Medical Center and the Iron County Veteran Service Office did at their Veteran Assistance Fair and town hall event.

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