Southwest FL – Steven Garcia gave an extremely important and informative presentation to the membership at our March luncheon. He is one of six Sarasota County Veteran Service Officers whose sole mandate is to help veterans and their family members
get the VA benefits they are eligible for. He clarified many different topics and made it very clear that many of us are not applying for and using the benefits that we have earned through our military service.
One of the most striking examples applies to Vietnam era veterans who have been exposed to Agent Orange and other hazardous materials; regardless of whether the exposure occurred overseas or in the states. There are numerous presumptive conditions, including Type 2 diabetes that would make a veteran eligible for medical benefits without having to prove a connection between their service and their illness. Additionally, the list of covered conditions and eligibility requirements are frequently changed and updated. This means that even those who were denied coverage in the past could reapply and get approved. Steven also explained the recent updates in benefits for any service members and their family members who were stationed in Camp Lejeune from 1953 to 1987 and may have been exposed to contaminated water.
Steven addressed far more topics than can be mentioned here but he invites any veteran, and especially any surviving spouse, with questions about their eligibility to contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or 941-861-2899.
There is also a Stand Down for homeless veterans in Sarasota on April 26th from 8:00am -12:00pm at the Sarasota County Health Department, 2200 Ringling Blvd, Sarasota. If you know of any homeless vets in the area, please let them know about the stand down and that there will be many services and items offered.
MOAS is the Sarasota Chapter of Military Officers Association of America. MOAA is the nation’s largest and most influential association of military officers with 370,000 members. It is an independent, nonprofit, politically nonpartisan organization. For more information visit, www.sarasotamoaa.com Are you a former military officer? Please come and join us at our monthly luncheon.