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Veterans Benefits and Information Fair Wednesday

By Staff | Mar 29, 2008

Emmet County Veterans Services director Larry Sundall reminds veterans of the upcoming Veterans Fair. EDN photo by Michael Tidemann

Are you a Vietnam veteran and have health issues with cancer or Type II diabetes?

Were you exposed to radiation as a veteran?

Are you a Gulf War vet with health problems? Did you receive the Purple Heart? Do you have work-related problems due to service for your country?

Then you need to attend the Veterans Benefits and Information Fair 1-7 p.m. Wednesday, April 2 at the Wild Rose Resort in Emmetsburg. The fair is sponsored by local Veterans Administration offices, including the Emmet County VA office.

Emmet County VA Affairs Director Larry Sundall said there have been a lot of changes with the VA, particularly with the first Gulf War and later Operation Iraqi Freedom.

“The war has brought a lot of attention to VA issues that weren’t there before,” Sundall said, noting that the VA Clinic in Spirit Lake, now starting its second year, opened in direct response to those issues.

The fair will tell who can access VA care. Federal VA benefits officials, medical staff, and clinic staff from the Spirit Lake VA Clinic will be on land to address issues of eligibility and prescription drug benefits.

Sundall said the VA is looking for veterans with Type II diabetes and cancers related to Agent Orange exposure in Vietnam. He also noted that veterans who received the Purple Heart are eligible for VA health care regardless of their assets. Another example of benefits would be if a veteran died 20 years ago as a result of being exposed to radiation during his service, his widow would qualify for benefits.

Sundall said the fair will also address the concerns of National Guard and reserve members who served in the first Persian Gulf War and Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Veterans and spouses will find information on VA eligibility for programs and services.

Information will be available on:

n Compensation for injuries which occurred or were aggravated by military service.

n Pension for low-income veterans and spouses.

n VA health care and prescription drug programs.

n Iowa National Guard and Reserve benefits.

n Energy assistance programs.

n Vet Center counseling programs.

n Iowa Veterans Home.

n Iowa Work Force Development.

n Small Business Administration loans.