Special to the Journal
Albany, Ga – With about 4,450 veterans and their families taking part, Georgia Commissioner of Veterans Affairs Pete Wheeler termed the 2012 “Supermarket of Veterans Benefits” held here today, “a very huge success, one of the best events of this type for veterans we have had in the past 10 years.”
The one-day program took place here at the Albany Civic Center and provided a one-stop shopping service for veterans and their families to gather information regarding federal and state benefits to which they might be entitled.
“We are extremely happy that we were able to assist so many veterans and their dependents today,” said Commissioner Wheeler. “This program is extremely helpful for the veterans because so many different government agencies are assembled at a single location and claims are filed on the spot.”
Approximately 3,180 claims and transactions were processed here today.
“Many of these claimants will be receiving benefits for the first time, and some of them had no idea that they were eligible for anything,” Wheeler pointed out.
The event, the 47th since its inception in 1966, is sponsored annually by the Georgia Department of Veterans Service in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, and other state, federal, and local agencies directly or indirectly involved with veterans’ affairs. It marked the sixth time that it has been held in Albany.
“This is an excellent example of team effort and cooperation when so many different government agencies can be assembled at the same time in one location to allow a veteran to file a claim right on the spot,” commented Commissioner Wheeler. “Over the years more than 172,000 veterans have been helped through this event.”
Since the Georgia Department of Veterans Service originated this program in Columbus, GA, in 1966, veteran benefits’ “Supermarkets” have also been conducted in other cities (Albany, Athens, Atlanta, Augusta, Brunswick, Columbus, Dalton, Gainesville, Griffin, Macon, Rome, Savannah, Valdosta, and Waycross) across the state.