NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF BLACK VETERANS
WELCOMES NEW CHAPTER
ALAMO NABVETS Chapter #0085 Officer Installation & Charter Presentation 2012
On Saturday, May 5, 2012, San Antonio, Texas became the home of the newest Chapter of the National Association of Black Veterans (NABVETS). At an Inaugural Officer Installation Ceremony, the Regional Director of NABVETS, the Rev. James Greenwood, installed the following officers:
COMMANDER Alvin C. Fagan, US Army Ret.
VICE-COMMANDER Patricia Wimberly, USAF Ret.
TREASURER Fred Anderson, US Army Ret.
SECRETARY MaryWooldridge, USAF Ret.
PUBLICITY OFFICER & HISTORIAN Thomas Byrd, US Army Ret.
PARLIAMENTARIAN James Scott, USAF Ret.
CHAPLAIN Dr. Charles Edwards, Jr., ARNG Ret.
SERGEANT-AT-ARMS John Brown, US Army Ret.
Commander Fagan, Retired US Army, remarked, “We plan to join forces with the community and the National Command Council of NABVETS to improve the lives of our veterans. What was once a dream, is now a reality.” With San Antonio being the home to the largest proportion of American Veterans, he has high hopes for this new chapter of the organization and he expressed the gratitude of the chapter’s new officers for the cooperation and support of the National and Regional Commands for this historic event.
NABVETS is a veteran’s advocacy organization and has addressed the unmet needs of minority and economically disadvantaged veterans since its inception in 1969. For more than 40 years, NABVETS has led the challenge to call attention to the plight of veterans who have been victims of Agent Orange, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, less than honorable discharges, homelessness, and many other veterans’ concerns, including amnesty for Vietnam era veterans.
NABVETS provides veterans' benefits claims assistance with the US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) as a free service to veterans, regardless of membership or affiliation with it or any other association. All veterans may receive such assistance without regard to race, ethnicity, gender, age, or branch of military service and the highly trained staff of NABVETS will advise and assist them and their dependents in filing and pursuing claims with the VA.
All Chapters of NABVETS will assist veterans who need these services and they also work in collaboration with the National Veterans Legal Service Program to help provide legal representation when necessary for such things as filing and processing VA claims, discharge upgrade assistance, Power of Attorney, legal advocacy, and other supportive services. Any veterans claiming benefits from the VA may assign the NABVETS Service Officer to serve as their VA-accredited representative for all matters pertaining to their claims, including submission of claims, collection of necessary evidence, monitoring progress of claims, clarification of procedures and actions taken by the VA, and the appeal process for denied claims.
The benefits and services available to all American Veterans are essential to their wellbeing and to the health and welfare of their families. These can mean the difference between financial security and homelessness in many cases; therefore, every veteran needs to have information and knowledge about the following benefits and services which may be available to them through the VA:
- Disability Compensation for any veterans disabled by injury or disease that was incurred or aggravated as a result of military service;
- Pension payments for veterans over the age of 65 with limited income if they have 90 days or more of active-duty military service, one day of which was during wartime, if they have a permanent and total disability that is NOT traceable to military service or to willful misconduct, and if they were discharged under any conditions other than dishonorable;
- Vocational Rehabilitation, including employment assistance, training, and education for veterans with service-connected disabilities;
- Death Indemnity Compensation for the spouse of a deceased veteran who died in the service or as a result of a service-connected disability;
- Education Benefits under the Montgomery GI Bill for former active-duty service personnel and eligible members of the Reserve and National Guard;
- Burial Benefits in state or federal veterans’ cemeteries or headstones for private cemeteries;
- VA Guaranteed Home Loans to purchase or refinance a home; and
- Health Care Benefits for veterans including medical treatment, prescriptions, hospitalization, as well as suicide prevention, substance abuse, mental health concerns, service-connected disabilities, and women’s health issues.
NABVETS will assist and advocate for any veteran of any branch of the US Military who are eligible for any VA benefits. Local chapters provide one-on-one, face-to-face confidential conversations with veterans who are dedicated to helping fellow veterans to find the assistance they need to utilize the benefits they have earned as a loyal patriot. They are available at no charge and will work with each veteran to find whatever help is needed.
NABVET Chapters, including the newest one in San Antonio, also work within their communities to spotlight programs and benefits that can be of use to veterans and their families. Many times, these groups will be the catalyst for new programs within their communities as they have a unique view on the needs and the resources that can be made available to both veterans and non-military citizens.
EDITORIAL NOTE: The Staff and Writers of Our Heritage Magazine would like to congratulate our founder and publisher, Mr. Alvin C. Fagan, as well as the other outstanding individuals elected as officers to the new San Antonio NABVETS Chapter, for being selected to represent and lead the San Antonio Chapter as it begins its much needed, and long awaited, service to our veterans. We know that their combined dedication to, and compassion for, our veterans will prove invaluable to the San Antonio Chapter's mission to provide advocacy and assistance to the veterans of southern Texas.
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