Monday, April 13, 2009

Seminar To Educate Public on Veterans' and Elderly Issues

GREENVILLE – The Brethren Retirement Community of Greenville is partnering with the American Veterans Institute to present an important seminar that can help local veterans and their families find out more about a little-known VA pension and other VA and eldercare issues. This free seminar will be held on April 27, 2009 from 6-8 p.m. in the brick room at the facility.

The American Veterans Institute (AVI), a 501(c)(3) Ohio-based non-profit dedicated to honoring and supporting veterans at the grass roots level, offers a free on-line service called VetAssist that helps veterans, their survivors or caregivers unravel the mysteries of the Improved Pensions known as Basic Pension, Housebound Benefit, and Aid & Attendance.

“This is a little known benefit that could benefit thousands of veterans,” said AVI co-founder and President Mike Jackson, retired Air Force Lt. Col and command pilot. “A veteran does not have to be retired from the military, nor does he need to have been injured in the line of duty. These pensions are based on need and physical condition. Even when people are aware of the program, they are often scared away by the paperwork and the sheer daunting mass of the VA system.”

Himself a disabled Vietnam veteran, Jackson has navigated the VA system for many years.

“It is a government agency tasked with serving the needs of millions. It’s like everything else in this world: it has good, caring people and it has uncooperative, uninformed people. I know from my own experiences that paperwork and documentation must be very clear and organized. If our website and reference material can help veterans at the beginning of the process, then the folks at the VA will have fewer headaches trying to clarify responses and request documentation,” the AVI President explained.

The seminar on April 27 will feature Jackson and his AVI co-founder Tara Dixon Engel, who will talk about the Improved Pension and the application process. Also featured is veterans advocate and VA expert Denver Combs, who will discuss various other VA benefits. Troy Attorney John Califf is also donating his time to discuss additional elder law topics. Handouts and resource information will be available to attendees. Individuals who would like to submit questions in advance of the seminar (to be answered at the event) can send them to: – PLEASE put “Brethren Retirement Question” in the subject line.

VetAssist can be accessed through the AVI website at or directly through The web site offers on-line pre-qualification information, form downloads, a precise step-by-step guide to filling out VA forms, and e-mail support for questions not covered on the site. The site is made possible by a generous donation from the Paul G. Duke Foundation.

The American Veterans Institute was co-founded by Col. Jackson and Tara Dixon-Engel. The duo are popular public speakers, National Co-Chairmen for Operation Welcome Home, authors of Naked In Da Nang (Zenith Press 2004), The Wright Brothers: First In Flight (Sterling Publishing 2007) and Neil Armstrong: One Giant Leap for Mankind (2008). They are currently writing The Embracing Freedom book series for young people and are working with the National Military History Center (NMHC) and Ohio University to develop a comprehensive national education program that will be jointly administered by AVI and the NMHC.

To find out more about the seminar, please contact Jan Teaford, Director of Development at the Brethren Retirement Community at 937-547-7628. To find out more about the American Veterans Institute or the Improved Pension, please call 937.669.2040.


1 comment:

  1. I don't have a comment about this story but wanted to thank you for putting this website together. The information here is incredible.


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