Jan 21, 2011 1:35 AM by Danielle Lerner

New support group helps local veterans

Local veterans are getting some much-needed help thanks to a new group in Morro Bay. The Morro Bay Veterans Support Group held its first meeting at the Eagles Club Thursday night. Many of the people who attended served in the Vietnam War. Organizers formed the group to help local veterans access information about benefits and services they are entitled to, and it is already making an impact.

About 30 people received a warm welcome during Thursday night's meeting in Morro Bay. Paul Burns served in the Navy for 20 years and he is now helping his fellow veterans through the San Luis Obispo County Veterans Services Office.

"There is quite a bit of information out there," said Burns. "It's a matter of finding out where it is and then researching current information."

Burns says many veterans are not even aware of the services they have earned by serving their country.

"Every day we have people come in our office and say they didn't know they were eligible for health care, or they didn't know they were eligible to get glasses through the clinic," said Burns.

That is why D'Onna Kennedy formed this group, a place where veterans and their families can ask questions and get information.

People like Drew Jacobson. His father, 89-year-old Stanley Jacobson, served in World War 2.

"He does have Parkinson's and Diabetes," said Jacobson.

Thanks to a benefits package from the V.A. his father will be able to stay at his assisted living facility in Fairfield. He attended Thursday's meeting to get help with the paperwork.

"It's nice to have a person that you can actually go to to make sure the forms are filled out correctly and that they go through the system," Jacobson said.

A small group making a big difference for veterans and their families.

"This meeting was invaluable for information and I'm thankful for it," said Jacobson.

Organizers hope to host several more meetings in the near future. If you missed Thursday's meeting you can find more information about veterans services in San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara Counties in the Newslinks section of ksby.com.


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