Disabled American Veterans reaches out to vets in need

Veteran David Cowart (Source: WALB)
Veteran David Cowart (Source: WALB)
Johnny Patterson (Source: WALB)
Johnny Patterson (Source: WALB)
(Source: WALB)
(Source: WALB)

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - If you're a veteran and you suffered storm damage or loss of power from last weekend's tornadoes, there is help available.

The Albany Civic Center's side parking lot has been packed with veterans looking for help after the tornadoes either damaged or completely destroyed their property.

That's where the DAV says they're coming in to assist. Veterans started showing up at the Civic Center around 8:00 this morning.

They were first asked to sign in and show their veteran ID card. Once their names were entered on a list, they were called one by one to fill out a form to explain basic details and the severity of their damage.

That could range from power outages to a home that was destroyed.

Veteran David Cowart signed up around 8:30 this morning, and had been waiting for his name to be called for three hours.

"It's rough. Everybody's feeling sort of down because it's not going like it should go, like we think it should go," said Cowart.  "Only thing I can tell them is to come out and sign and see. If we get it, we get it.  If we don't, we don't. That's the only thing we can do. So it's just wasting a little time that's it."

"They're a little disoriented.  A little frustrated, and I can understand why. Having never been through one of these myself, I can imagine.  But they've been very cooperative," said Georgia DAV Commander Johnny Patterson. "These are actually checks, they take them and they cash the checks. They can use that form to help offset some of the costs that they have lost."

After you fill out your form, you are given between $250 and $500 in a voucher. That voucher is a check and can be cashed to help assist the veteran in his or her storm recovery.

The money disseminated in the vouchers today come from the DAV's national headquarters in Cincinnati.

The DAV had 100 vouchers to distribute today. But they said they will have more vouchers available tomorrow at the Civic Center starting first thing in the morning.

There was some concern from a local sheriff's office that these vouchers may be a scam for veterans, but that may have stemmed from someone not being eligible for a voucher, or that the DAV ran out of vouchers.

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