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Veterans go to the supermarket

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By Jade Bulecza - bio | email

VALDOSTA, GA (WALB) –Nearly 3,000 veterans and their families learned about benefits they could qualify for Wednesday.

The Georgia Department of Veterans Services sponsored is 45th Supermarket of Veterans Benefits in Valdosta to make sure vets take advantage of all the help they've earned.

Thousands of south Georgia veterans went to a supermarket Wednesday, but as you can see they weren't buying groceries. This was an opportunity to get their questions answered.

Robert Wiggs just started getting his disability. When he heard about this one stop shop, he wanted to help out his friend Edgar Ford.

They're both vietnam veterans who live in Thomasville. 228,000 Georgians served in that war.

"I'm trying to help him get his veteran's disability," said Wiggs. "He was also in Vietnam and he may have been exposed to agent orange so I'm trying to help him see if he's eligible for it."

"It's exciting because I had no idea the things I could qualify for," said Ford.

And also important for veterans to know they can get what they're entitled to says Georgia Department of Veterans Service Commissioner Pete Wheeler, who's a veteran himself.

"Veteran's benefits are not automatic," said Wheeler. "You have to know about them and you got to apply for them and best to have someone who knows how to apply correctly."

Veterans also got free health screenings and flu shots. It was also a chance to learn about education and job training grants. Wednesday 2,700 veterans and their families took part and 1,800 claims were processed.

The veterans supermarket started in columbus in 1965 with an idea of bringing the benefits to the people.

And since then hundreds of thousands of veterans have been served.

The Georgia Department of Veterans Services says the first state assistance to Georgia Veterans came after the Civil war.

Those who lost an arm or leg were given artificial limbs.

If you weren't able to attend the supermarket, you can find out how to get assistance by clicking here.


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