Veterans wait hours, days to receive storm relief vouchers from DAV

Veterans wait hours, days to receive storm relief vouchers from DAV
If you did not receive a voucher, go to to download a Disaster Relief Grant. (Source: WALB)
If you did not receive a voucher, go to to download a Disaster Relief Grant. (Source: WALB)
Deborah Moss (Source: WALB)
Deborah Moss (Source: WALB)
Melvin Thompson (Source: WALB)
Melvin Thompson (Source: WALB)
Wilson McCray (Source: WALB)
Wilson McCray (Source: WALB)

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Hundreds of veterans in the Albany area still need help, following the deadly storms that ripped through our area.

Many of them have been waiting several hours since Tuesday to receive financial help from the Disabled American Veterans organization.

Those men and women waited anxiously to find out if they were eligible for financial assistance.

The DAV told WALB they were down to 35 vouchers Thursday afternoon, and after that, they didn't know if they would have more.

WALB's Catherine Patterson was there on Tuesday morning when the DAV first came to the Civic Center to distribute vouchers for disabled vets.

She said when she got there Thursday morning, many of the same veterans were still waiting to hear their names called.

Melvin Thompson had been there since Wednesday morning.

He came back Thursday, hopeful his name would be called.

"It seemed like it was somewhat disorganized," said Thompson. "They had one table, two people filling out vouchers, they were calling out people's names in a crowd of 300 people."

The DAV said 250 vouchers were sent to Albany for service-connected disabled veterans.

Thursday afternoon, only 35 vouchers were left.

"We're trying to get the ones who were hurt the worst and gave kids and have to stay in hotels and shelters, or what not," said Southwest District Commander Deborah Moss. "Those are the ones we want to reach out to first."

Moss said this process took so long because they were spending time working to verify each veteran's eligibility for assistance.

For Wilson McCray, the wait for a voucher was a long one.

He got there Tuesday morning.

"Hoping today.  I'm hoping today!" said McCray. "After today, I'm just going to let it go."

On Thursday around noon, his name was finally called.

But for hundreds of others, the wait continues.

And it will continue, since no one knows if and when more vouchers will be sent to the area when the last 35 run out.

In a conversation with WALB's Catherine Patterson, Moss said, "I ain't going to be here tomorrow. I told them,"  (So, you're not going to be here tomorrow?)  "No I'm not."  (No one's going to be?)  "Nope."  (No one will provide help tomorrow?) "Nope. Not with us."

It's that news that has disabled veterans who are still waiting asking, 'What's next?'

We spoke with the Disabled American Veterans headquarters in Decatur.

They said they are not sure if any more vouchers will be sent to Albany.

If you or a disabled veteran did not get a voucher and believes he or she is eligible, Commander Deborah Moss said you can call her at 229-449-6255 or DAV Service Officer Bennie Wilson at 229-255-1427.

If you still need assistance, you can download the DAV's Disaster Relief Grant Application by clicking here.

Once you have downloaded the form, you must contact DAV Service Officer Wilson at 229-255-1427 to get it validated.

Once validated, the Service Officer will send it to the state office to determine whether you are eligible for relief funds if funds are available.

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