Regional V.A. office moves mountains to help vets

IRVINGTON, NJ — English writer Sir Francis Bacon coined the phrase: “If the mountain won’t come to Muhammad, then Muhammad must go to the mountain.”

And though that was written hundreds of years ago, Jennifer Myers, the public affairs officer for the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs Newark Regional Office, said it still applies today. Myers and her staff came to the Camptown Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1941 on Saturday, Oct. 29, to help veterans gain access to services they earned by serving their country.

“We’re here to serve veterans,” Myers said Saturday, Oct. 29. “I brought members of the Newark Regional Department of Veterans Affairs. We’re all part of the Veterans Service Team, so we come out and outreach to veterans, making sure that the services that they normally would get at the regional office — to file a claim, to know the status of a claim — this eliminates them from having to make the trek out to 20 Washington Place, just bringing the V.A. to veterans.”

A veteran herself, Myers said helping veterans is just the right thing to do.

“There’s been Saturdays, when I was deployed I had to work; if we had exercises on a Saturday, Sunday you had to be there,” Myers said. “In this instance, it’s not because you have to, it’s truly because you want to. I’m a veteran, 20 years Air Force. Each person here serving today is a veteran. What better way to give to our fellow comrades in arms than to spend a Saturday with them?”

The goal is to “try to reach out to veterans as best we can,” Myers said.

“Going back to Abraham Lincoln’s promise ‘to care for he who has borne the battle; is widow and his orphan,’ I take that very seriously, because I served and I want to make sure that those alongside that have served are given all the benefits that they’re eligible for and entitled to,” Myers said.

“And we have three branches of the military here as part of my team: Navy, Army and the Air Force. … We have made great strides in reaching out into the community and bringing the V.A. out to veterans.”

Camptown VFW Post 1941 Commander Louis Johnson said he’s glad Myers and her team came to the local post on Chestnut Street. Charles Jeter, a nonmilitary volunteer who serves as the cook at Camptown VFW Post 1941, said he was glad about it, too.

“Every little bit helps,” Jeter said Saturday, Oct. 29.

To learn more about services and programs offered by the regional Veterans Association,visit www.va.gov.

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