TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) – Dozens of veterans ventured out to the Tallahassee Antique Car Museum Wednesday night for the first of a series of town hall meetings held across the state.
The event focused on sharing the latest information on VA services, including benefits and support, as well as details on the new PACT Act.
“Recently, the PACT Act was approved and it expanded to a bunch of presumptive conditions,” said Jeffrey Obos, public information administrator for the Florida Department of Veterans Affairs. “Different types of cancer, and on top of that, one of the most important is high blood pressure. Vietnam veterans cite high blood pressure due to poisoning in Vietnam area.”
The PACT Act has expanded to include several service areas and some Navy ships, Obos told WCTV reporter Katie Kaplan.
The free event was hosted by the Vietnam Veterans of America Big Bend Chapter #96, the Florida Department of Veterans Affairs and the Florida Veterans Foundation. It included presentations by attorneys and certified veterans claims officers.
According to Obos, the largest demographic of Florida veterans is Vietnam, but they receive the least amount of benefits they have earned.
“They deserved it. It’s not an entitlement – it’s what they earned,” he said. “We want to show them how to access it and how it can benefit them and their families.”
“One of the biggest focuses right now is the children and grandchildren,” said Michael Bousher, president of the Florida Veterans Council. “We’ve noticed that some of our children and grandchildren have diseases that aren’t really related to family history and things like that.”
Bousher said one such condition is Spina Bifida, and that some veterans may file a claim for it.
Ten more similar town hall meetings are expected to be held throughout Florida. Any local veteran who missed this appointment is encouraged to see a qualified veterans claims adjuster. Every American Legion has one, Obos said.
Copyright 2022 WCTV. All rights reserved.