13VetsMany elder veterans and their families don’t have access to the internet and can’t tap into the many resources available to veterans and their families. That’s why the Veterans Affairs Committee of the town of Hope Mills is sponsoring a one-day Veterans Outreach on Saturday, May 3, to help get the word out.

The event is open to veterans anywhere who would like the chance to meet face-to-face with people who can provide them information about benefits available to veterans and their families and how to get them.

The event will be held at the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 10630 at 3226 Davis St. in Hope Mills.

Jim Blevins, a member of the Hope Mills Veterans Affairs Committee, said many elderly veterans and their spouses aren’t computersavvy and aren’t aware of benefits that might be available.

“That’s what our main goal is, to try to reach out to those who don’t have a computer, or (to) widows who didn’t serve in the military, to understand what their benefits are.’’

There will not be a formal presentation or lecture about what benefits are available, Blevins said.

Various organizations will have representatives on hand to provide information, and those attending can come at their convenience and speak with the people who represent the various groups involved to ask specific questions and get information about the subjects they are most interested in.

A short list of those who will be present includes representatives of the Army and Air Force offices of mortuary affairs, the Lone Survivor Foundation, the American Red Cross, and the Cape Fear Veterans Medical Center.

“This is mainly to get phone numbers and contacts so we can move through as many people as possible,’’ Blevins said. He said there will be a total of about 15 different organizations on hand.

Blevins stressed that the event is not limited to veterans from the Hope Mills area. “It’s open to any veteran,’’ he said.

Grilley Mitchell, chairman of the Hope Mills Veterans Affairs Committee, said the intent is to “empower veterans and family members, make them aware of the benefits and services available that they qualify for.’’

In addition to the people connected with providing benefits, Mitchell said a number of local political leaders will be on hand.

“Many individuals don’t know who their local representation is in the event they need some help,’’ Mitchell said. “I want them to put a face with the name so when they do reach out they’ll have some familiarity with those individuals.’’

If anyone has questions about the event prior to May 3, they can contact Blevins at 910-853- 4587 or Mitchell at 910-476-3719.

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