April 23, 2014

Veterans Affairs holds open house in Neola

The small southwest Iowa town of Neola is hosting a regional open house for the Department of Veterans Affairs this weekend. Will Ackerman, spokesman for the V.A.’s Western Iowa Health Care System, says the events today and tomorrow simply aim to offer veterans information.

“Learn about the V.A. benefits, what services we have available,” Ackerman says. “If they bring in their form DD-214, their discharge and separation document, we’ll have staff that can help them fill out an application for enrollment, if they haven’t already.” Ackerman says the open house is targeted toward anyone who’s served our country in uniform.

“This is kind of a one-stop shop for veterans and their families to come in and check out what’s going on with the V.A. and be able to complete an enrollment application,” Ackerman says. The open house is hoping to reach Iowa veterans who live in the following counties: Audubon, Adams, Cass, Crawford, Fremont, Harrison, Ida, Mills, Monona, Montgomery, Page, Pottawattamie and Shelby, but all veterans are welcome.

“We take these open houses out to rural communities to take the information out to them,” Ackerman says. “We’ve done this for the last three years and every year, we probably reach about 500 or 600 veterans and their families through these events.” The open house will be held at the Neola Community Center from 11 AM to 7 P.M. today and from 9 AM to 1 P.M. on Saturday.