CTC hosts Veterans Benefits Expo for area vets
By PAMELA GRANT
The Veterans Services department and VetSuccess Center of Central Texas College (CTC) reached out to veterans by hosting a Veterans Benefits Expo and Appreciation Day on Tuesday.
The event was held in the Anderson Campus Center on the central campus, with nearly 30 organizations on hand to provide accurate information on education benefits, disability, employment services, health care services, and more for military veterans, active duty soldiers, and their families.
Some of the many groups on hand at the event included Central Texas Healthcare for Homeless Veterans, VA Caregiver Support, Star Group – Veterans Helping Veterans, Lonestar Legal Aid, and Operation Phantom Support.
Denise Whitself, who works for Heart of Texas Goodwill, was on hand at the event to promote OPERATION: GoodJobs.
OPERATION: Goodjobs seeks to help veterans, military members, and their families find jobs, help support them in their employment, and give them the tools they need to succeed in the workplace. They help them obtain certifications, put together budgets, offer agency referrals, skills training, job placement and retention services, and more.
John Valentine, CEO of Operation Phantom Support was on hand at the event to offer information about the group and raise awareness.
Operation Phantom Support is a military and veteran based non-profit organization dedicated to assisting active duty military service members, honorable veterans, and their families
“We came out here to make sure people knew where we were and they could be aware of what we provide…We’ve given out a lot of information and people are interested in what we do,” said Valentine. “We’re a basic day to day living type of assistance non-profit. So it’s basically food, clothes, furniture, car repairs, things that soldiers and veterans might need help with that we can help with.
Examples of programs provided by Operation Phantom Support include a food pantry, adult special needs program, returning soldiers support, vehicle repair assistance, a garden program, and more.
William Miller and James Morgan, two VetSuccess on Campus counselors, helped set up the event. Miller said that it was important for them to help veterans, soldiers, and their families. He said that their VetSuccess program not only helps with education, they help with claims and anything to do with the VA. They also offer referral services.
“We visited Texas A&M and saw how they had some type of event like this one, and my partner and I decided ‘Why not us too?’” said Miller who added that above all else, the event is designed to inform veterans, soldiers, and their families. “There’s many individuals that get out of the military and years later they didn’t know. ‘I didn’t know I could…’ Well, hopefully with this event, they’ll gain that knowledge.”
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