There is certainly one thing that the County is full of and that's veterans. Thankfully, our county veterans have a lot of good help should they need it as they go through life.

Community Spotlight caught up with Jim Gehring, Service Officer with Aroostook Veterans Alliance to chat about what they are doing to help veterans in the County.

For those of you not familiar with the group, Gehring says,

"Aroostook Veterans Alliance is an organization primarily focused on veterans in Aroostook County. Our main purpose is to make sure those veterans receive the benefits that they've earned, and also we support the families of those veterans."

The Aroostook Veterans Alliance goes beyond the call of duty as they also give attention to homeless veterans when needed and are a conduit of resources for those seeking help from the group.

Gehring said that they work very closely with the Cary Medical Center Veterans Affairs as well as the Homeless Shelter of Aroostook.

Gehring explains how a veteran is processed once they check into the Homeless Center of Aroostook,

"When a veteran hits the homeless shelter, we interview them and determine what kinds of help they need be it medical, mental or any service they can provide to that veteran and sometimes the veteran and their family."

Other ways the organization helps veterans are to aid them in filing any medical claims and defining any benefits they may have coming to them from the VA and they provide free transportation for the veterans to get from point A to point B.

Once the physical and mental evaluations have been completed, they can then determine what they need to do in order to meet the veterans immediate needs.

For example, once the Homeless Shelter of Aroostook gets the veteran into permanent housing, the Aroostook Veterans Alliance then helps them to furnish their new home with furniture, kitchen utilities and anything else they may need to get through the day-to-day, free of charge.

Workshops Available

The Aroostook Veteran Alliance will be providing workshops in the Chan Center at Cary Medical Center on Saturday, March 23 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.

It is at that time the organization will look at the new rollout of the new veterans program called, Community Care.

For more information, you can visit their Facebook page here. They are working on a new website for more information in the near future.

Community Spotlight is sponsored by Cary Medical Center.

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