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      Veteran service officer provides benefit and health care guidance

      With tens of thousands of veterans living in the U.P., some of them are having difficulty filing for their benefits. After years of negotiations, The American Legion has received increased funding to help the veterans through this claims process.

      Over the past 6 years veterans have only had access to one-on-one American Legion benefit and health care guidance one day a month down in Sault Ste Marie.

      That is all about to change in July.

      Raymond Moore- ??We have had difficulty over the course of the last few years trying to provide those services and maintain them in the U.P.,?? said American Legion state commander Raymond Moore. ??But, we think we??ve got that problem solved.??

      That is, now that the new legislature has increased their Department Service Officer funding by over $800,000.

      The Department Service Officer is trained to answer questions veterans, their widows, or dependents have about receiving health care and the benefits they are entitled to. The officer can even file the claim for you.

      ??We just don??t talk to veterans,?? said the U.P.??s department service officer, Patrick Kline. ??We change veterans lives, by how we do our claims and what we do for these veterans, and that??s what it??s all about.??

      The service officer will be in the U.P. for five days, the third full week each month. He will be at different locations each day to talk face-to-face with our hometown heroes.

      ??I was glad to hear it,?? said veteran Michael Trickey. ??People are going to feel as though that they can trust the system more to have someone that they know well be there consistently. That is well trained and understands the job, that will work with them personally.??

      The service begins July 21.

      Department Service Officer??s U.P. schedule:

      Every third full week each month:

      Monday: AM: Manistique

      PM: Rapid River

      Tuesday: Menominee-County Veteran Office

      Wednesday: L??Anse

      Thursday: AM: Marquette

      PM: Munising

      Friday: Newberry- American Legion