DAV vehicle brings office to area veterans

Published 8:50 pm Tuesday, September 15, 2009

The Disabled American Veterans mobile service office began its Alabama tour in Demopolis on Monday, helping area veterans with their claims.

The mobile service office visited Mobile on Tuesday, then continued to Opp today (Wednesday), Dothan on Thursday and Phenix City on Friday.

“Our mobile service office is part of our outreach program,” said national service officer supervisor Michael A. Michelotti. “It allows us to get out into communities and visit veterans who aren’t able to make it to our office in Montgomery.

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“Our van is fully equipped with two offices inside. We conduct interviews in there, and we can provide the same services in that van that we do at our office in Montgomery. Those typically include benefits counseling, advising veterans on how to prepare their claims, and how to develop them.”

Michelotti said the DAV requested that local chapters invite the mobile service office to come to their communities to better serve veterans who did not have easy access to DAV clinics or offices.

J.J. Bruno of Miller, who served in the Army from 1954 to 1978, said the mobile service office stop was really beneficial.

“This is great!” he said. “This is the first time I’ve witnessed this. When they got a DAV chapter here, I took advantage and joined it. Since then, I’ve been like, ‘What can I do to help?’”

The mobile service office began in the mid-1990s. The DAV got a grant from Harley-Davidson to help continue its services.

Those wanting information about veterans services should contact Lee Belcher at (334) 289-1251.