Bluff Road Armory to host “Veterans Experience Action Center”
COLUMBIA, S.C. (WOLO) — A three-day event at the South Carolina National Guard Armory on Bluff Road will provide Veterans with access to an array of community service providers — all under one roof.
Officials are calling the event the “Veterans Experience Action Center,” and will take place Thursday, March 23rd, Friday, March 24th, and Saturday, March 25th — each day from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
“We feel that it’s a great opportunity for Veterans to sit down face-to-face and discuss any issues they may have, to make connections with military support organizations, and also with community service providers,” says Major General Jeffrey Jones, Deputy Adjutant General with the SC National Guard.
The event extends to family members and dependents too. “This is also an event to help assist them in understanding and going through the VA process of what it is — the resources that we have out there for them,” says Marlon Hinds, Change Management Agent and Public Affairs for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Regional Benefits Office.
Officials say Veterans will see an array of service providers. This will include services surrounding physical and mental health issues, Veterans experiencing homelessness, the Palmetto Pathfinders program, and representatives from companies like Humana and AARP.
Jim Jarvis, the American Legion’s Department Commander for South Carolina, says there will be plenty of help with claims and benefits questions as well.
“Anybody that’s putting in an appeal or wants to check the status of their appeal, a new claim or where their claim is in the process. Some may even be so close in completing it in bringing the appropriate paperwork, they can get rated as they leave,” Jarvis says.
Patricia Wortherly, Deputy Director with the South Carolina Veterans Affairs, says some Veterans may have questions about the PACT Act — a new law that expands VA health care and benefits for veterans exposed to burn pits, agent orange, and other toxins.
“This is a place where Veterans can feel safe, you are amongst family, so come out. If you have questions pertaining to claims, no matter how simple the question may be, there will be a multitude of resources there and we come with open arms ready to assist you,” Wortherly says.
The South Carolina National Guard Armory is located at 1225 Bluff Road, Columbia, SC 29201. Officials say Veterans attending will need to enter through the Old Dairy Road Gate. If you have questions regarding the event, please contact Marlon Hinds at 803-814-8759.