Veteran Embrace Connects Resources, Promises and Eligibility

Shown is UNF's Preventing Alzheimer's volunteers with Cognitive Training (PACT): Emily Mitchell and Herman Tucker.
The Federal Department of Veteran Affairs (FDVA), City of Jacksonville, Duval County Veterans Council, and Northeast Florida Women Veterans teamed up to host a Veterans Resource Fair in North Jacksonville to reach veterans and family members who could be eligible for benefits.  The event was held inside The Legends Center, with a light breakfast and agenda that included on-site claims and Q&A session.
Northeast Florida Women Veterans, left to right, Zakkiyah Jackson, Ami Ritter (from Women’s Army Corps, Chapter 56), Natalie Marcano-Sidberry, and Sanya Mackenzie and from Devoted Health Plans is Gianna Morris.

The resource fair assisted male and female veterans. Focus was on the Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics Act (PACT Act a 2022 Act to improve health care and benefits for veterans exposed to toxic substances), service-connected claims, burial benefits, social security benefits, and many more. Jacksonville is home to over 78,000 veterans yet there are many who still do not use the benefits they earned by having served in the military.  Reasons could be that, they don’t believe they are eligible, they don’t trust the VA, they don’t consider themselves a veteran, or don’t have adequate access to the information.  In addition, there are widows, caregivers and family members of service members who don’t know about their benefits.

“We are the voice of women veterans and we assist all veterans to help them excel beyond their own expectations,” said NEFWV Outreach coordinator Sharleen Deary.

The FDVA next steps include the tasks of following up with attendee’s regarding their claims. For more info on veteran’s assistance and support contact the Northeast Florida Women Veterans center at (904) 862-6039.

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