By Randy Pierce
In an effort to reach out to United States military service veterans, the Madison County agency established to provide support to them is hosting a free luncheon Dec. 14, from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. at Harry G. Seaton American Legion Post 435 in Glen Carbon.
During this luncheon, the Madison County Veterans’ Assistance Commission will provide a high-level overview of the various primary and secondary services it offers. American Legion Post 435 is located at 190 South Main Street in Glen Carbon.
The lunch will be served at noon after the outreach and socialization hour. No carryouts will be available. The VAC will have members of its staff present to answer questions and set up appointments for matters concerning the support it offers. Dessert will be provided by a veteran-owned small business, Blue Ice Creamery of East Alton.
The VAC, headquartered at 157 North Main Street, Suite 115, in Edwardsville, offers free support to qualified recipients as outlined in its mission statement: “military veterans and their families who reside in Madison County.”
That mission statement continues, “The VAC works with veterans’ service organizations as well as local, state and federal agencies to ensure the rights to which each veteran and their families are entitled and granted. The VAC also works to educate, promote and preserve the rich heritage and history veterans served to protect.”
There are about 20,000 veterans in the county supported by the VAC which provides assistance of an interim and emergency financial nature, administrative case work and much more in terms of outreach.
On Dec. 15, at 6:30 p.m., the VAC is hosting its annual meeting at its aforementioned headquarters address in Edwardsville. All veterans, family members, friends and the general public may attend.
One of the new programs being implemented by the VAC concerns a first-responder veteran referral service to help applicable individuals and their families in need. There is never a fee or charge for any service offered by the VAC.
The VAC is not a crisis response agency nor a provider of medical services as those in need of immediate attention in this regard should call 9-1-1 or 9-8-8, go to the nearest emergency room or call the veterans’ crisis line at 800-273-8255.
The VAC office is open from 8:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday excluding holidays. For further information, call 618-296-4751 or go to the website http://co.madison.il.us/mcvac.