Friday, May 19, 2017

Community Steps Up When Veterans Need Help and Finally Ask

Help available for veterans often too proud to ask for it
Herald Tribune
Dale White
Staff Writer
May 19, 2027
MANATEE COUNTY — C. J. Bannister remembers the Marine veteran who stood “tall and proud” before her. “He was so humbled and embarrassed” to ask for her assistance, the director of veterans services for Goodwill Manasota remembered.

After eight tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan, he returned to his family in the Sarasota-Manatee area. After three months, “his (Veterans Administration) benefits had still not kicked in,” Bannister said. If he could not quickly pay his bill, he told her, the electricity would be shut off at his home the next day.

As it and several other local agencies do every day, Goodwill helped that veteran and many others get through a crisis — whether it is keeping a roof over their families’ heads and food on the table, assisting them in finding a job or qualifying for VA benefits.

Sometimes, the help could be as simple as rewriting a resume, which Bannister, a former paralegal with the Air Force, learned she had to do. After she unsuccessfully applied for employment for months, another veteran helped her strip her resume of military jargon and convey her job skills in civilian terms.
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