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Vets Day – Veterans Affairs Agency spreads word about resources, information

MARQUETTE — With the celebration of Veterans Day today, Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency Director Zaneta Adams is working to spread the word about resources available to veterans.

The MVAA serves as a “resource and information hub” for veterans, she said, noting the agency can provide assistance and connect veterans with resources for everything from employment and education, to emergency housing assistance, health care, veterans’ homes, and many other benefits and resources.

“From the time you put on the uniform, to the time you transition out of the military — when you’re looking for long-term care needs, and during the time that your families need us the most — we are here to serve you,” Adams said.

The agency can help veterans navigate the often complex Veterans Affairs system, she said.

“Our focus is to make sure that we’re getting out to meet the veterans where they are,” Adams said. “We want to make sure that we’re putting the resources in their hands, that they’re not having to search for it, we are bringing that information to them. That’s really important for us.”

To do so, the MVAA has a number of staffers based in Lansing and throughout the state who can offer assistance.

“We provide a veteran service office right there within our agency that can help anyone in Michigan to get their veterans’ compensation and pension benefits,” she said, noting the agency can also help veterans get their DD-214 forms.

The Upper Peninsula’s regional coordinator, Frank Lombard, and local benefits counselors can provide help close to home, she emphasized.

“You have a regional coordinator up here that can assist with different issues … He travels all over the U.P. and he is that information and resource hub right here,” Adams said. “He works with the local veteran community action teams to get whatever a veteran needs or help them to navigate.”

To get connected with veteran resources and benefits counselors near you, visit www.michiganveterans.com or call 800-642-4838.

The Upper Peninsula regional coordinator for the MVAA can be reached at 906-290-0359.

Cecilia Brown can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 248. Her email address is cbrown@miningjournal.net.

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