Veterans help Veterans at community outreach event in New Bern

NEW BERN, N.C. (WITN) – Dozens of service organizations came together to support Veterans in the east at the National Guard Armory in New Bern.

The outreach event was organized by NC Works and provided free hot meals, essential item packs, and haircuts for Veterans.

Among those to provide services for the former service members was the Disabled American Veterans organization, which provides lifelong membership and services to Veterans from benefit claims to medical transportation services.

“Usually when a Veteran comes to use and they have questions, we try to play the give and take to try and pull out from them exactly what they’re looking for,” said James Hunter of DAV Chapter #26.

For some that is a hot meal and for others, it is a ride to their doctor’s appointment.

After calling the DAV transportation line for their local chapter, volunteers will arrange the wheels for the Veteran.

“We will arrange for a pickup location, take them to their appointment, and bring them back home,” said Commander Robert Gracie of DAV Chapter #40. “This is all free of charge.”

The DAV also provided ready-to-go essential item packs. Something that Vietnam Veteran Karl Rush took advantage of, not only for himself and his service dog but also for a friend.

“I got quite a bit of stuff here… some for my dog, which is wonderful,” said Rush. “But I got a few things that actually I don’t need but I know I have a friend that was not able to get here. So, I’m going to take him socks and some other stuff.”

DAV representatives say that coming out to events like this is helpful for them to make new connections and share information about benefits that Veterans may not know they qualify for.

“There are a lot of Veterans honestly that don’t feel they deserve it just because they are standing upright and walking, but there are a lot of wounds that are invisible,” said Hunter.

Those looking to join the DAV will be met with the familiar faces of fellow Veterans at the chapters here in the East.

“I’m a lifetime member of the Disabled American Veterans,” said Rush. “They have what they call service officers that will help you get the benefits that you need as well as deserve.”

More information on how to become a member can be found here.

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