Heroes and Hotrods event educates veterans on health care benefits
WVUA 23 News Student Reporter Giselle Hood
The Tuscaloosa VA Medical Center and a local post of the Veterans of Foreign Wars are keeping veterans from driving blind when it comes to health care eligibility.
On Friday, Nov. 4, the “Heroes and Hotrods” car show and eligibility fair featured classic cars, live music, and organizations spreading the word about the various veterans’ support programs.
“Many veterans I have met have never registered with the VFW or the VA,” said VFW Senior Vice Commander Walter Turner. “I ask them why, and they say ‘well there’s nothing wrong with me’. One of these days there will be, so go out and get in the system. There are all kinds of benefits you can get that you may not know about.”
Workers shared information about the PACT Act, a new law that expands VA health care and benefits for Veterans exposed to burn pits, Agent Orange, and other toxic substances.
The Veterans Crisis Line was also at the event educating people about its hotline and spreading awareness.
“Things like this car show are important to show that we’re here,” said Veterans Crisis Line Community Engagement Coordinator Lawanda Vanhorn. “We’re supportive of our veterans, of the community. We want our veterans to receive services here if they’re eligible.”
The car show was more than educational. It was a way for veterans to socialize with each other and the community.
“It gives us a chance to get out and look at things like these cars,” veteran Jimmy Reynolds said. “Some of (the cars) maybe they had back in their days.”
Enrollment for VA health care is free.