COLUMBUS (WCMH) — This is National Military Appreciation Month, and a local health fair is aimed specifically at military veterans and their families needing assistance.
The Military Resource Center is offering a one-stop-shop on Thursday and Friday for veterans and their families who need help with those resources including vision care.
Andre Hamilton served eight years in the Army, earned a BS from Savannah State University and a Masters from Ashford University in Public Administration. All of that was before an unexpected surgery set him back.
“The medical issues kind of came all at one point, it was a perfect storm, and I just needed a little push,” said Hamilton.
He said the VA and the Military Veterans Resource Center have been instrumental in getting him back on his feet.
“At this point I will tell anyone if you are a veteran, please, please look out for your benefits,” said Hamilton.
Health screening is being offered, along with free eye exams and glasses for vets, but those are by appointment only, through the VSP Mobile Eye Program. Eligibility for the eye program: Veterans (includes reserve/guard and spouses) must have proof of service (DD214, VA ID, Veterans ID). Spouses must have a dependent ID of some kind.
Beyond the fair, the resource center offers help Monday through Friday.
“When a vet walks in we follow them like a battle-buddy, from when they walk in in trouble all the way up to where they are self-reliant,” said Stefanie Hauck, Spokesperson for the Military Veterans Resource Center. The center is located in the Ohio AMVETS building at 1395 E. Dublin-Granville Road.
She said help can come in many forms.
“We have a food bank on site it is the largest veteran’s food bank in Ohio. We offer clothes, interview prep, jobs placement assistance, and we will pay for any kind of certification that they need,” said Hauck.
The fair is meant for those who unselfishly served their country and earned least than double the federal poverty level, which is $23,540 for an individual and $102,240 for a family of eight.
The Franklin County Veteran Service Commission’s mobile outreach van will also be on site as well as several other veterans groups with information on their programs.