Veterans in need of assistance should consider visiting the mobile service office of the Disabled American Veterans (DAV), which will visit Crawford County on Tuesday, May 21.
“It’s an office on wheels,” said Crawford County Veterans Affairs Service Officer Louise Galbraith.
DAV is a nonprofit charity that provides support for veterans and their families.
The mobile service unit, which is sponsored by Harley Davidson, will be parked on the east sidewalk just outside the east door of the Crawford County Courthouse.
Two VA service officers will be present.
“They’re the people that I send all of our claims to in Des Moines to be processed,” Galbraith said. “They will be here to meet with any veterans who have questions about any federal claims or VA benefits.”
The VA service officers will provide the same services Galbraith offers, but at a higher level.
The mobile service unit will be open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., but the doors will remain open if individuals are still in need of assistance at 4 p.m., Galbraith said.
At the same time the mobile office is at the courthouse, Dave Conrad, of the VA Nebraska-Western Iowa Health Care System, will be just inside the east courthouse door at the Crawford County Veterans Affairs office.
Conrad can handle healthcare enrollment, eligibility, billing or other concerns a veteran might have about healthcare, Galbraith said.
He has been Galbraith’s contact for many years.
“A lot of our veterans know him because he comes to veterans appreciation day at the fair every year,” she said.
With Conrad and the DAV mobile service unit on hand, veterans should be able to have just about any healthcare and/or benefits question answered.
The DAV mobile service unit only visits the county every two or three years during a summer tour of counties.
“They always have a great turnout when they come to Crawford County,” Galbraith said. “We usually have one of the highest turnouts in the state and it’s been a while since they’ve been here.”
Many veterans use the DAV as their service organization for claims, she said.
“Some veterans just like to come up and shake their hands and meet them,” Galbraith said.
Visiting with the representatives can be useful for veterans – even those who have been receiving benefits for many years, she said.
Family members can also benefit.
“It’s a good opportunity if you are a child of a veteran to come up and see me or the DAV service officers,” Galbraith said. “If you want to know the benefits your parents may have – if they are looking at nursing homes and assisted living - it might be a good day to come and just ask questions to see what could be available.”
Widows, widowers and surviving spouses may also visit to ask questions and gather information.
“It’s open to anyone – veterans and dependents,” she said.
Galbraith will be available all day.
The DAV mobile service office and Conrad are available for residents of other counties, she noted.
“You don’t have to be a Crawford County resident,” she said.
Veterans from other counties should bring their DD Form 214 - Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty.
“That is the most important piece of paper if it’s not recorded here at the courthouse,” Galbraith said. “If you’re married and you’re going to file a claim or do anything with healthcare, bring your spouse’s social security number.”
For more information, contact the Crawford County VA office at 712-263-2720.
Visit dav.org for more information about DAV.