American Legion plans 'Front Porch' for Yamboree
by PHILLIP WILLIAMS
Oct 10, 2013 | 946 views | 0 0 comments | 28 28 recommendations | email to a friend | print
American Legion R.E. Peppy Blount Post No. 320 in Gilmer, and representatives of the new East Texas Veterans Resource Center in Longview, will set up on the local Legion post’s “front porch” during the upcoming East Texas Yamboree to inform veterans of what benefits are available to them.

They will be on the porch of the Upshur County Senior Citizens Organization building (where the Legion meets) at the intersection of Silver Alley and Harrison St. during the festival Oct. 17-19.

“We invite all veterans and their families to stop by the ‘Front Porch’ and learn what is going on that could be good for them. Statistically, over 45 percent of veterans do not know what benefits they have paid for and earned through their military service,” said a news release from the Legion post.

The document notes that the American Legion is the nation’s largest organization for veterans, having been chartered by Congress in 1919 to help veterans in their transition back to civilian life.

The new resource center was formed to help veterans “connect to what organization can best help them and their families with their needs and issues” as they make that transition, the release continued. ETVRC can help “with homelessness, mental health, addiction, claims and benefits with a staff mostly comprised of trained veterans or private sector professionals.”

The news release says the Legion is setting up on the porch as “something a little different” for “the Yamboree celebration of the mighty yam that came to the rescue of the farm-based economy of Upshur County.”

The document goes on to explain, “A lot of good times were had on the front porches of small-town America. Friends and neighbors could gather and discuss the everyday happenings, news, ways to improve the town and how to help those in need.”

Noting that the Legion’s “Front Porch” is only a block south of the courthouse square, the news release urged, “Drop by and say hello and learn about what you have earned by your service to the country, or just talk for a spell. You will be glad you did.”

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