Veterans educated on available benefits - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Veterans educated on available benefits

Story by Paul Shahen
Eyewitness News Reporter

CHATTANOOGA (WRCB)-- A lot of veterans have no idea what benefits they can receive.

Friday, dozens turned out to learn more.

It's the power of information. Event organizers say too many veterans don't know what benefits they can get.

"I got my benefits that are available to me, I had no idea there were any benefits available, like for my wife," says Veteran David Dolin.

David Dolin served from 1957 to 1971. He, like hundreds of other veterans, is still learning about benefits.

Hospice of Chattanooga uses events like Friday's to spread the word.

They transformed the downtown Sheraton into a one-stop information shop, not just for veterans, but their families.

They say too many are ill-informed.

"They served our country, came back, acclimated to life at home, went back to work, and never knew what benefits were available," says Sherry Campbell.

As some vets shared Friday that's not always the case.

When Jim Guitar returned home from Vietnam, he says isolation would set it, preventing many vets from seeking benefits.

"I came back in 1968 and it wasn't until 1988 that somebody thanked me who wasn't in the service. Long time," says Guitar.

Guitar is now a volunteer.

He lets veterans know they are appreciated, and tells them it's ok to accept their benefits.

"It helps me," says Guitar. "Giving back to them, because I know how they feel, because I felt the same way."

Organizers also say another reason older veterans do not take advantage of benefits is because they think it will take away from those returning from current wars.

Their best advice is to consult with your local Veteran Affairs.

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