TEXARKANA, Ark. (KTAL/KMSS) – Dozens of veterans gathered Thursday night for a town hall meeting in Miller County.
Many were there to ask questions about benefits. Veterans affairs officials said those are the most common questions they get. “So many people out there are in need of these benefits, yet they don’t know what they are, and they’re struggling,” said Retired Lt. Col. Carl Daily. Daily served in the U.S. Army. He said he’s a member of the Vietnam Veterans of America in Texarkana, and they try to spread the word to other veterans.
Veterans Affairs officials are encouraging veterans to contact their local community based outpatient clinic, also called a CBOC, to speak face to face with a representative through a computer. They said they no longer need to drive to Little Rock.
Through the TeleBenefits program, officials said veterans can find out what they qualify for and even file claims. “’Instead of calling the 1-800 number and speaking with a different representative every time and having to re-tell their story, we have certain representatives that are assigned to each CBOC, so we build that trust and relationship with the veterans,” said Jay Mergenschroer, Public Affairs Office for the Little Rock VA Regional Office.
Mergenschroer said there are 13 CBOCs in Arkansas. Officials said there are over 225,000 veterans in Arkansas, and only 45,000 are taking advantage of their benefits. They add that participation in the TeleBenefits program has gone up over 120 percent this year.
The Texarkana Community Based Outpatient Clinic is located at 910 Realtor Ave., Texarkana, Ark. You can reach them via phone at (870) 779-2750.
VVA #278 meets monthly at the Texas Elks Lodge at 3702 New Boston Road, Texarkana, Texas. For more information, contact Gregory Beck, president, at (903) 556-1613.