On Wednesday, December 5, 2012, from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m., the Georgia Department of Veterans Service, together with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, will conduct a free one-day, one-stop service and information forum at the Albany Civic Center.
An added feature of the “Supermarket” will be a health fair provided by medical personnel from the VA Medical Centers located in Georgia. Free medical screenings and seasonal flu shots will be available.
Georgia Commissioner of Veterans Affairs Pete Wheeler explained the program during a meeting on November 7 with Albany Mayor Pro-Temp Bob Langstaff, who presented a proclamation designating December 5th as “Supermarket of Veterans Benefits Day” in Albany. The Government Center Council Chambers ceremony was well attended by some 100 people from local veteran groups, city and county officials, as well as agency representatives that are involved in providing support and counseling on state and federal veteran entitlements.
“There may be many veterans and dependants who are eligible for various benefits but who, for some reason, have never applied for them. In this one-day program, we will place every agency that has any connection whatsoever with veterans benefits within easy reach of those eligible veterans and their family members,” Wheeler said during the ceremony.
“The Supermarket will provide Georgia veterans and their family members with an opportunity to acquire information and assistance from more than 40 municipal, state, and federal agencies about various benefits,” Commissioner Wheeler added.
In addition to the Georgia Department of Veterans Service and the VA, some of the other agencies represented will include the Military Retirement Services; the Social Security Administration; TRICARE; Small Business Administration; the Georgia Department of Motor Vehicle Safety; the Georgia and U.S. Departments of Labor; Rehab Services of the Georgia Department of Human Resources; the Georgia Game and Fish Division of the Department of Natural Resources; and representatives of state and federal medical facilities.
“All participating agencies are involved with veterans’ benefits in some respect,” Wheeler stated. “Having them all in one place at the same time eliminates the necessity of a veteran or family members having to go to several places to get questions answered and to get help with individual problems.”
Over the past decade, more than 34,000 veterans, active duty military, and their dependents have attended this annual event.
The 2012 “Supermarket” will be the sixth time the event has taken place in Albany. The last time Albany hosted the “Supermarket” was 2003.