VA trying to locate rural veterans who need services


By Devin Neeley

There is a new push to find New Mexico’s veterans living in rural areas who may be in need of help.
“It has been a long time coming; it’s going to be an asset to native veterans,” said Leon Curley.
Tuesday, a ribbon cutting was held at the Shiprock Veterans Center for a rural outreach program. The program is dedicated to finding veterans living in rural areas, previously unregistered, and signing them up with the Veterans Administration – veterans like Leon Curley.

“Just didn’t know it was there. I was never given anything saying you have benefits, you deserve this, and I wasn’t looking for a hand out so I didn’t ever look into it,” said Curley. Curley served in the US Marine Corps from 1975-1981. He knows all too well now how important VA  services are. “I use the VA clinic a lot yes, now,” he said.
He says he knows there are plenty of vets who need to be signed up — young and old — and that is exactly what New Mexico Department Of Veterans’ Services Rural Coordination Program plans to do.
“We are going door to door, we are going to chapter house, cafes, churches,” said NM DVS Secretary Jack Fox.
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