A Wealth of Information Shared at Knight’s Veterans Workshop

A Wealth of Information Shared at Knight’s Veterans Workshop

Presenters and organizations at the Veterans Resource Workshop in the Antelope Valley provided some valuable information to our local veterans.

By Staff Reports

(Victor Valley)– Senator Steve Knight (R-Antelope Valley) held a Veterans Resource Workshop in Lancaster on Monday, September 22.

“It was a highly successful event,” said Senator Steve Knight. “I was glad we were able to reach so many veterans, but disheartened to find so many veterans in need.”

More than 70 people along with nine local veteran organizations participated in the workshop and discussion. The program featured presentations by representatives from California Department of Veteran Affairs, the William J. “Pete” Knight Veterans Home and the Antelope Valley Vet Center.

John “Buzz” Kraft from Cal Vet talked about the high number of veterans and the lack of services available in many areas. Even with the shortage of representatives, each one does their best and works double time to help as many veterans as possible, he said. Cal Vet offers state-related services and Kraft shared several with those in attendance.

The William J. “Pete” Knight Veterans Home in Lancaster has a wait list for residents, according to representative Seema Misra, who explained many of the services offered at the home. She also detailed the general criteria for veterans to apply, stressing again while there is a waiting list, being prepared when the time comes to consider moving into the home is always a good idea.

Talking about his own experiences as a U.S. Army combat veteran, Cecil Stennett from the Antelope Valley Vet Center discussed the importance of veterans asking for help rather than struggling on their own. Stennett said when he finished his service, he thought his benefits ended as well. It wasn’t until years later he found out he had benefits the entire time; he just didn’t know how to take advantage of them. His main objective is to make sure veterans returning from service know what’s available and how to access them.

“This was the goal of the workshop,” Knight continued. “I wanted veterans in need or those unsure of what’s out there to come to one place, kind of a one-stop-shop event to meet qualified representatives and get the help they needed.”

Getting appointments at the VA hospitals, meeting with representatives, how to find help with housing, and most importantly getting back to work were among the great questions fielded during the presentations.

“Many vets come home after serving several tours of duty to find jobs are scarce,” Senator Knight continued. “The economy is still tough in the AV for everyone but our veterans should be the last people without a good-paying job. That’s why I felt this workshop was important and to assemble key representatives who could actually help vets.”

Plans are already underway for an evening workshop to reach veterans who are not available during weekday hours, with a date to be announced in the near future.

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