Veteran Administration Help
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Navigating the bureaucracy of the Veterans Administration can be difficult. And that's why officials in Cambria County are stepping in to help. This past fiscal year, Cambria County was No. 1 throughout the commonwealth, filing the most claims and receiving millions of dollars in benefits for veterans. "There's still a lot of confusion as to what the VA is and how it works and we've really made a big push to try to clarify some of those things," said Josh Hauser, director of Veteran Services in Cambria County. He says 10 percent of the population are veterans. That's why he and other county officials are spearheading four town halls this month, focused on veterans and their families. "It's a way to take the veteran's office out to the community, to educate folks on what's going on in the veteran's office and educate them about the benefits that are available to them," said Tom Chernisky Cambria County Commission president. Chernisky says in the last fiscal year there were more than 500 claims filed for veterans in the county. "We were No. 1 in the state, bringing almost $8.6 million of revenue," Chernisky said. "That benefits veterans here in Cambria County. These veterans earned their benefit and also we help them bring the benefits in." That's double the revenue from the year before. Chernisky says it doesn't just help veterans but the county's economy. "It's a win,win across the board. We're helping veterans. It's an outreach," Chernisky said. "And we still find out to this day that sometimes they're not aware we have a veteran's office." "I always say, after they get out of the military they take their uniform off, but not their sense of service," Hauser said. "Well now it's our time to serve them and let them know what's available and how we can help." The Town Hall schedule is as follows, Friday, Oct. 12 from 6 to 8 p.m. Ashville VFW, 158 West Main Street Ashville Monday, Oct. 22 from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Cambria County Library, 248 Main Street, Johnstown Tuesday, Oct. 23 from 2 to 4 p.m. Cresson American Legion, 222 Ashcroft Avenue, Cresson Monday, Oct. 29 from 3 to 5 p.m. Richland VFW, 651 Lamberd Avenue, Johnstown