American Legion helps veterans in crisis - | WBTV Charlotte

American Legion helps veterans in crisis

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) -

Politicians are working on the Veterans Administration. And veterans with the American Legion said they will work on it too since it affects their healthcare and disability benefits. And what they created helps veterans cut through the red tape.

A spokesperson with the American Legion said after the scandal with the Veterans Administration in May, the organization said they needed to do more than ask people to resign. They started the Veterans Crisis Command Center, which travels around. This week the center is in Charlotte at the convention center.

The Veterans Crisis Command Center at the convention center is not a place to receive medical care. The crisis is veterans getting access to their healthcare and benefits.

"I just recently got an operation on my neck to fix something it's what they call service connected because of my military commitment," said Bob Barker of Greensboro, North Carolina.

Barker served in the U.S. Air Force for 20 years. He checked on the status of his request for benefits while he's out of work healing.

"It helps your expenses, paying the bills and all that kind of stuff," said Barker.

He said after the VA scandal it was important the American Legion stepped in.

"Of course, it's always good when you got these guys just to ask questions because it's the rumor mill just like anything else, I heard this and I saw that," said Barker, "These are the guys that write the rules and have to live by them."

John Burroughs another veteran of the U.S. Air Force said he usually has to talk to someone from the VA by phone and by appointment. Here he walked right in.

"If you sit down and talk to somebody it's better than trying to talk to them on the phone," said Burroughs.

The American Legion said too many veterans don't know what is available to them.

Zack Hearn, Deputy Director of Claims with the American Legion said, "This is a service provided to them due to their honorable service," said Zack Hearn, the Deputy Director of Claims with the American Legion, "And we need to make sure that it's there as they move into retirement."

The Veterans Crisis Command Center will be in Charlotte at the Convention Center in room 204/205 Wednesday and Thursday from 8 a.m. until 8 p.m.

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