Thursday, September 6, 2012

Florida veterans has millions of dollars unclaimed

Our daughter grew up with cable TV and the Internet. My husband and I met while working for a cable company. It was really odd when I was taking Digital Media classes at Valencia College and had to explain to the younger students (my daughter's age) that when I was growing up, we actually had to get up to change the channel on the TV, typed on paper with ink ribbons and had to white out typos instead of just using delete on the keyboard. Spell check was called the dictionary.

When Vietnam veterans came home, and all the generations before them, finding out what benefits they earned for their service was really hard for them. It was even harder to be able to find their "brothers" and "sisters" for emotional support.

Claims were a nightmare as well and everything was done with regular mail. Thank God the DAV was there to help with filing claims because most veterans had no clue what to do including my Dad, a Korean War veteran.

Times have changed but what has not changed is what this country owes our veterans. Yes, owes our veterans because they paid for it all when they put their boots on and left US soil to fight the battles this country decided had to be fought.

Florida veterans group on mission to deliver benefits
FDVA: Millions of dollars unclaimed
Sep 6, 2012
Written by
R. Norman Moody

Florida Department of Veterans’ Affairs on Wednesday launched a statewide multimedia campaign to connect veterans with millions of dollars of federal and state benefits that they’ve earned but are not claiming.

The nation’s third-largest population of veterans collects than $13.7 billion a year in federal compensation, education and pension benefits, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs medical services and military retired pay, according to FDVA, but apparently millions more is available.

“I think it’s a very proactive approach,” said Bill Vagianos, president of the Brevard Veterans Memorial Center. “Hopefully, we’ll see an improved process. It needs to be more veterans-focused instead of so bureaucratic.”

The outreach campaign will use everything from traditional newspaper advertising to a new website and smartphone app to reach out to different generations of veterans, from World War II to those returning from Iraq and Afghanistan.

“Some of Florida’s veterans fought for our freedom in the days before television, while others never knew a time without personal computers, yet they all share the admiration of a grateful nation,” said Mike Prendergast, executive director of FDVA. “If they aren’t receiving the benefits and services they rightfully earned, we must use every approach available to reach them and set things right.”
read more here

They did their jobs. Making sure they get what they need when they come home is our job now.

Florida is blessed with a lot of groups and a lot of people doing whatever it takes to make sure that happens for our veterans and Bill Vagianos has been tied to most of what is taking place for Florida veterans.

I met Bill when he was working to take care of homeless veterans for Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer. This man hardly ever stops. If he is involved in anything, you know it'll work.

1 comment:

  1. While it's a shame that our veterans don't always receive the benefits that they ought to, it is always good to see the community coming together to do something good for the people who have served them.



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