VA takes services to veterans on the road

Northeast Mississippi Daily JournalJune 26, 2014 

TISHOMINGO -- When the Memphis Mobile Vet Center rolls into town, veterans are always glad to see it.

No matter the number of veterans who come for services, large or small, counseling outreach technician Don Moore is glad to see them.

"We are bringing services to all the counties we serve," Moore said. "The VA 2 Vets Initiative began in March, and we have until March 2015 to get to all of our counties."

Moore was in Pontotoc and Union counties on Monday and in Tishomingo County on Wednesday.

Thursday he was in Prentiss County and today a representative will be in Corinth.

Gaines Griffin, 69, of Tishomingo is a Navy and Marine Corps veteran who served 1963 to '67 in the Navy and 1973 to '74 in the Marines, including in Vietnam.

"I guess I'm a glutton for punishment," he said.

Griffin came to the mobile unit with some issues and correspondence from the VA he wanted to discuss.

Tishomingo County Veterans Service Officer Richard Pharr was at the mobile unit as well, and Griffin's are issues he can help resolve.

"I haven't been in this job very long, about 2½ years, but I'm a veteran myself and all I want to do is to help with their problems," Pharr said.

Each county's veteran officer works with veterans on benefit and medical needs.

Moore's outreach efforts are to assure veterans receive readjustment counseling, helping them get back into society after their combat and war experiences and assisting them and their families. He is a combat veteran of Iraq who served in the U.S. Army from 1986 to 2008 and was awarded the Purple Heart. He's been the Memphis outreach officer since the program was founded in 2009.

"I've been there, so I know what it's like," Moore said. "I still have more counties in this area to visit, but I'm doing all I can to reach those service centers and get dates set up with them."

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