County Vet Agency Informing Vets About Available Benefits

There are some 50,000 veterans in Monroe County, and many are not taking advantage of available benefits. Jim Rinaldi of Spencerport served our counry as an Army sergeant in Vietnam.

"When you get out of the service they don't hand you a pamphlet and tell you, here, go see this person or that person," Rinaldi said.

Thirty-two years after his discharge, Laura Stradley and Ken Moore with the Monroe County Veterans Service agency are helping him.

"The system changes all the time and there's things that are available that people don't really know about," Rinaldi said.

"They need to have somebody that can sit down with them and say here are all the federal benefit that you're eligible for, here are the state benefits, here are the benefits that our community offers locally," Stradley said.

In addition to office appointments, the Veterans Service agency is holding sessions to provide an overview of veteran benefits. The next sessions are Saturday at Irondequoit Town Hall from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.

"We have accredited service officers who will sit down one on one with a veteran and ask the relevant questions to find out, okay, based on your personal circumstances, these are some of the things you may want to consider applying for," Stradley said.

"The sessions are wonderful because there's all kinds of information there, there are people that really know the system," Rinaldi said.

Veterans are encouraged to bring their spouse, family members or friends to Saturday's Town Hall meeting, as well as their DD214 discharge papers.

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