Hundreds turn out to local veterans benefits fair - KXXV-TV News Channel 25 - Central Texas News and Weather for Waco, Temple, Killeen |


Hundreds turn out to local veterans benefits fair


Hundreds of vets turned out to a local veteran benefit fair hosted by the Texas Veterans Land Board, Saturday at the Waco Convention Center. The fair was held to educate vets about all the different types of benefits they're entitled to.

"A bunch of veterans they get out and we don't always have access to all the things that are available," said Eddie Johnson Jr., a 22 year Army Vet.

The purpose of the event is to share information to vets and their families about the many programs that are available to them. The fair provided everything from education and home loan services to outreach programs and healthcare information.

VLB spokesman Jim Bob Mickler says "It allows us to bring in local, state and federal officials all in one building on one day so that these veterans can ask the questions they've been meaning to ask but just haven't fount the time or the opportunity to travel to all the different offices to find out this information." 

Mickler also said that one of the biggest problems vets run into is misinformation. He says benefits change all the time and many don't know all the benefits they're eligible for.

"Veterans sometimes don't get all the information they need, to know how to take advantage of their new set of benefits," said Mickler.

While the Land Board is a state run program they also work with local organizations to make sure veterans get the help they need and deserve.

 McLennan County Veteran's Services Officer, Steve Hernandez says "We do have a lot of veterans either with mental illness, or with even physical disabilities or even just trying to transition back into civilian life. They need to know that brotherhood, that sisterhood that camaraderie is still there. That we still want to be able to satisfy any need."

This was the second Veterans Benefit Fair held by the Texas VLB in the last three years. Many of the veterans News Channel 25 talked to said they learned a lot at the event and got most, if not all, of their questions answered.

"People are here to help. They really appreciate the veterans and the service that we've done," said Anthony Tolbert, a 20 year Navy Veteran.

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