Local American Legion chapter aims to provide more veteran resources

COLUMBUS, Miss. (WCBI) – The United States Department of Veterans Affairs reports about 131,000 veterans are homeless, and 1.7 million face mental health needs.

CaBehind the fun of Bingo and Karaoke nights, there is some serious business at American Legion Posts.

The veterans’ organization helps those who have served connect the right dots to receive valuable services.

WCBI met with the Adjutant of Columbus’s American Legion Post 69, who said it’s never too late to ask for help.

“Every time I go to an expo or anything a veteran is hosting coffee and donut, I learn something,” said Pauline Stewart, a retired marine.

Stewart is all too familiar with the ups and downs of the process of obtaining veterans’ benefits.

That’s why she’s helping organize a first-of-its-kind Veterans Expo this weekend.

When asked why the veteran’s expo is important to this community,

“It is really important because not only is this a veterans community because they have the Columbus Airforce base, but you have a lot of Veterans out there and do know where to get the information, and anytime you can have someone that here that can help you with a claim or to come in and just help you with information on burial information about the cemetery veterans homes or other opportunities that are out there is always a good thing,” Stewart said.

Though the homeless veteran population is not high in the area, Stewart said that those who have served the country sometimes need a helping hand for other needs.

“Help them toward utilities, home, food, and medical those are the four if they come in, we don’t want to leave anyone out,” said Stewart.

This event is open to the public and free to veterans and civilians, starting with a Heroes Ruck and Walk at 8 a.m. and the expo following at 10 a.m.

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