By Tim Krohn
Free Press Staff Writer
MANKATO — With a stream of veterans returning home to a tough economy, Sue Worlds said the number of those facing some sort of crisis increases.
“Given the economic times, we’re seeing more people. When one thing goes wrong it’s an immediate crisis. It gets down to making a car repair or paying rent, or they have a health issue and don’t have the money,” said Worlds, director of the Minnesota Assistance Council for Veterans in Mankato.
She said more vets with traumatic brain injury and post traumatic stress syndrome are also increasing the need. And more female veterans require specialized programs, particularly if they have children.
On Nov. 14, the MACV will hold its annual veterans StandDown to bring dozens of services to one location, giving veterans a chance to ask questions or get assistance on a variety of topics. (The StandDown is on a Wednesday this year, a break from past years when it was held on Tuesdays.)
“The purpose of the StandDown is to bring in as many providers as possible. We had 54 providers last year and at least 450 veterans attended,” Worlds said.
“It’s important to have services for all ages of veterans, not just seniors or not just disabled veterans, its for all veterans.”
The keynote speaker will be Major General Larry Shellito, commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs.
Worlds said providers up at the StandDown can help with health care, housing, income issues, disability, legal issues, Social Security and other topics.
She said many veterans seek help in filing claims with the Veterans Administration. “The county veterans service officers are in demand. For an individual to file claims themselves, it becomes a daunting task. If you have an advocate who knows all the paperwork front to back that’s huge,” Worlds said.
The Disabled American Veterans Chapter 10 from Mankato and DAV Foundation have donated funds to put the event on.
The StandDown is 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Nov. 14 at the Verizon Wireless Center in Mankato.
After an 11 a.m. welcoming ceremony, a lunch will be served. There is no fee.
For more information, call MACV’s Mankato office at 345-8258.