DeKALB – While the meeting lasted about 12 minutes, a couple of the DeKalb County Veterans Assistance Commission members stayed for a while and talked about the group’s mission.
The commission met Monday night in the Five Seasons Room inside the DeKalb County Community Outreach building at 2500 N. Annie Glidden Road, DeKalb.
Celeste Latham, the president of the DeKalb County Veterans Assistance Commission, said the group helps local veterans.
In a couple of weeks, there’ll be an event promoting that goal.
The commission will host a blood drive that is open to the public from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Feb. 1 at the Sandwich American Legion, 713 S. Main St., Sandwich.
Latham said the usual turnout for a blood drive is about 22 pints.
“We’d love to have more,” she said.
The blood drive is only one of the things the Veterans Assistance Commission does.
Latham said the commission’s mission is to help with service connected veteran claims.
“If they’re injured or now suffering impairment from what they did in the service,” she said.
In 2019, the commission helped bring in $1,379,880 to help veterans, Latham said.
The commission spent $429,149.62, about one-third of what the commission brought in, to help veterans in the DeKalb area, which also included $66,600 to house veterans.
The commission helped provide 12 veterans with shelter in 2019, according to the commission’s statistics. It also provides rides for veterans who need to head to a medical appointment.
Latham said the drivers are volunteers.
In addition to the money the commission helped bring in, the shelters for veterans and the rides for veterans to have health care brought to them, the commission also helps with education, pensions, disability claims, insurance and life insurance claims.
Tammy Anderson, a U.S. Air Force veteran and the superintendent for the DeKalb County Veterans Assistance Commission, said that when she started working to help veterans, she was told it would be the most rewarding job she’s ever had.
She said that was the right description for the job. She said the other most rewarding job was serving the country.