To help local veterans learn about and apply for the benefits to which they are entitled, Disabled American Veterans dispatched its Mobile Service Office to Tahlequah on Thursday.
Several veterans were present Friday morning outside the University Center of Northeastern State University, where the mobile office was parked.
“I’m here to check on my benefits,” said Bill Harris, who was waiting in line with his wife Kathryn. “I have been going to the [Veterans Administration] in Muskogee. This saves me a trip, though of course you still need to wait your turn.”
Gus Altebaumer, waiting with his wife Anita, said he noticed the upcoming visit of the office when he was checking the Tahlequah Daily Press online.
“This is actually my fist contact with Disabled American Veterans,” he said. “I don’t yet know how they will be able to help me. But the services were highly recommended to me by my brother-in-law. It was also a big deal for us that the DAV was able to come to Tahlequah.”
Jason Todd agreed that the proximity of the mobile office was helpful.
“I am listed at 30 percent disability, but I want to check to see if I qualify for 50 percent,” he said. “If I do, I could get my prescriptions for free. I’ve always been appreciative of the DAV and the VA. They have helped me out a lot.”
The Mobile Service Office is used by the DAV to visit communities and provide direct services and assistance with claims, benefits counseling and appeals.
A veteran need not be disabled to contact the DAV. All veterans and their family members can apply for services. The DAV can also get veterans in touch with other agencies which can help with severe financial difficulties or homelessness.
Information about the DAV is available online at www.okdav.org.