By Staff Reports
(Victor Valley)– High Desert veterans of all age groups turned out in force Thursday, May 31 for Supervisor Lovingood’s fifth annual Veterans Resource Fair.
One veteran who served in Vietnam received information on getting checked out for possible health effects from Agent Orange exposure. Another who served in the National Guard discovered for the first time that he does, indeed, qualify as a veteran. Some vets received free health checkups from the Arrowhead Regional Medical Center mobile clinic.
“Information is a powerful tool and this Veterans Resource Fair puts the power of information right in the hands of our great vets,” said Supervisor Robert A. Lovingood, who has coordinated the event for the past five years.
Supervisor Lovingood spoke with constituents and County Veterans Affairs Director Frank Guevara handled numerous veteran requests for assistance. Congressman Paul Cook and County Assessor-Recorder Bob Dutton also assisted constituents.
Numerous nonprofit groups and veterans service providers met with those in attendance at the Apple Valley Conference Center. Supervisor Lovingood noted that the San Bernardino County Veterans Affairs department served 28,101 veterans and family members in 2017. The County has housed more than 1,085 homeless veterans since 2015. And the County Veterans Affairs department filed service connected disability claims which resulted in veterans receiving over $45 million in 2017 — the highest amount received by any county in California.
“This is year five, I’ve been there every year, and I would rate it as the best one yet, absolutely, for a lot of reasons,” said Kelly Maxwell, CEO and founder of Orenda Veterans Project. “I think it’s become the single event of the year for our veterans up here. Because we are up here and a long way from down the hill, when they bring the resources together like that, I think we have a good turn out.”
For information on veterans services, contact the San Bernardino County Department of Veterans Affairs at (760) 995-8010 or visit the office at 15900 Smoke Tree St. in Hesperia.