GEORGIA DEPARTMENT OF VETERAN SERVICES

  1. Georgia War Veterans Home. One in Augusta. Call 706-721  Second unit in Milledgeville Call 478-445-4295 Must be Georgia resident and meet several other requirements. These are great for the vet who needs long term nursing care.
  2. State Veterans Memorial Cemeteries-The oldest is located in Milledgeville and one in Hinesville. Both are beautiful and very well maintained. Vets pay no fee to be buried here and spouse can be interned as well. Qualifications are the same as National Cemeteries. You must have a DD-214 so keep it where you can find it. For more info call 912-654-5398 for Hinesville or 478-445-3363 for Milledgeville. 
  3. Veterans Field Service Officers. These offices are located throughout the state and are staffed by highly trained professionals who will advise and assist vets veterans with their benefits. In Atlanta many of the service officers are located in the VA Regional Office next to the Medical Center. These officers will help you file a claim check on a claim or file a disagreement if needed. The Atlanta number is 404-929-5345.  If you need help in locating a service office officer call the state Veterans Service number 404-656-5940 or call GVVA at 770-458-7934. When you make the call ask for help getting your DD-214 if appropriate and have them send a booklet called: State Benefits for Georgia Veterans.

Admissions are available to Georgia veterans who have served during wartime and have resided in Georgia for five years prior to applying for admission.  Admissions will take place on a “first come, first served basis” based on the availability of beds.

Points of Contact:

GVVA has taken the lead in opposing the placement of PTSD on the drivers licence of Veterans. The bill (Senate bill 419) cleared the Georgia Legislature in 2010 and has been sent to Governor Perdue for his signature. We are asking him to veto that bill. I have also talked to several newspapers and radio stations urging veterans to refrain from placing that on their licenses. It can be a violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act and is an invasion of a veterans' privacy and the right to keep their medical records private. This could preclude a veteran from enjoying the rights of al citizens even though they have fought for that right.

Marvin Myers.
 

During the middle 1980's a number of Vietnam vets banded together and formed a chapter of Vietnam Veterans in the Atlanta area. By 1988, the Chapter was working with other Vietnam veteran groups around the state and a state organization was formed.

Eventually, the state organization grew to 5 chapters and by 1989 we had a sound organization, both financially and membership. We joined the Vietnam Veterans of America and were represented on its National Board.

There were chapters in Atlanta (2), Jonesboro, Gwinnett, Savannah, Macon (2), and Valdosta. During 1991, and for the following year afterwards, there was a growing desire in the state to focus on local and community affairs. Not get embroiled in national politics. Georgia wanted to return to taking care of veterans locally where we could be effectively involved in community service.

As a consequence, Georgia voted in the summer of 1992 to leave VVA and formed the Georgia Vietnam Veterans Alliance, Inc. to work for the betterment of veterans locally. This allowed Georgia Vietnam Veterans to direct our limited resources towards scholarships, a homeless shelter, emergency aid for veterans, leadership conferences, PTSD seminars, and generally assisting veterans in Georgia.

The Georgia Vietnam veterans began to become very concerned about Agent Orange in about 1990. The bill was stalled in the US House of Representatives. Our President, Marvin Myers, gathered up 20 plus members and attired in their best Sunday clothes, they entered the hearing room sitting right in front. We needed one vote. The debate raged on until the Chair called for a vote. That vote came from a Dekalb county congressman and we got our bill.        

Each of the chapters is free to pursue its own fund raising and to assist in community outreach. For example, the Gulf War veterans have been very involved in trying to resolve what caused the Gulf War illness, including working with the news media and with other groups nationwide. The Marietta chapter has been very involved in community service.

The Alliance operates its own fund raising business. This provides a place of employment for veterans and helps to build self confidence for those needing a boost in their outlook.

Each employee comes to us with different needs. For many, it is the first step on the road to regain their self-esteem and to re-enter the mainstream of the work force. The location of the business is such that those without transportation can reach it using MARTA. The size of GVVA's business office allows for a meeting place for vets needing someone to talk to and to hold meetings for the Alliance.

Because of our desire to be more involved in the community the Alliance has many members who also work actively on the Georgia Veterans Day Parade Association. The Parade Association holds its meetings at the Alliance Headquarters.

The Alliance Headquarters serves as a repository for memorabilia, pictures, and books about the Vietnam War. We are gradually adding to this collection. In addition, the headquarters houses all of the official documents of the Alliance, flags and other items of importance.

As far as we know, we are the only Veterans Group in the nation that has brought a Gulf War group in as a Chapter. This has been a wonderful experience for our veterans and for the Gulf War vets. They have full membership and serve on the board of the Alliance, yet they retain their own identity. We have also begun discussions with a group of Korean veterans with the thought that they would have a chapter and also retain their identity. Over the past year we are seeing an increasing number of Iraq vets, including National Guard. They need help in navigating the VA and at times a job or financial assistance.

By having a location and a full time staff member at our business location we have had the time to help those needing jobs, needing assistance with their claims, and provided a referral service to those who need help with the system. In addition, we are able to respond to emergencies of veterans and provide immediate assistance.

Of particular note is that we have developed a networking system for vets which is bringing vets of all wars together. Among our leaders and board members are attorneys, business owners, city officials, salesmen, doctors, and carpenters. It is a place where all vets are unconditionally welcome and all can find friends and help to better themselves.

Read the biography of the founder and president of the Georgia Vietnam Veterans Alliance by clicking here.

 

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