Veterans benefits seminar slated for Oct. 17

FAIRMONT – What types of benefits are available to military veterans? What type of things will change with the Affordable Care Act? And how can veterans and military members apply?

These questions and more will be addressed in a seminar to be held Oct. 17 at the Fairmont Armory. The event is being hosted by the regional chapter of Disabled American Veterans and the Martin County Beyond the Yellow Ribbon foundation.

“The seminar is to cover what all VA has to offer, especially with health care being the biggest issue right now,” said Gary Reutzel, second junior vice for the Chapter 32 Disabled American Veterans. “It’s a regional meeting open to vets and active military members, and families … Many vets are not enrolled and they don’t know what they are entitled to as a vet.”

Along with veterans learning what they are entitled to through the VA, there will be paperwork assistance for those who are not enrolled.

“Some just don’t want to fill out all the paperwork,” said Tam Plumhoff of Beyond the Yellow Ribbon. “There is so much that is given at one time, and it gets overwhelming.”

There is also a generational gap between groups of veterans.

“Some of the fresh new ones coming out are schooled on the VA, but there are a lot of Vietnam vets that are not using the VA like they should,” Reutzel said.

Health care is only one aspect of the Veterans Administration.

“There are so many little VA benefits,” Reutzel said. “They can help retrain for jobs … But there are so many that don’t use these benefits or they slip through the cracks. We want to give them the opportunity to understand what they can have.”

The Oct. 17 banquet includes a meal at 5:30 p.m., with the seminar to begin at 6 p.m.

RSVPs are requested to be sent to or by calling (507) 238-2806.

“For the people that serve, one of the biggest benefits is the use of the VA facility and they are entitled to it for doing their service,” Reutzel noted.