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VA seeking to educate vets on unclaimed benefits

PHOENIX -- Calling all veterans in need of health care, education assistance, even home loans. The U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs said you could be eligible for more benefits than you think.

"When I find out the vast majority of veterans in Arizona know little to nothing about their benefits, that's a personal drive," said Dr. Tommy Sowers with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

Like most veterans, Sowers said after his 11 years of active duty he didn't know that much about benefits through the VA

"The VA has fundamentally changed my life for the better," he said. "The Post-9/11 GI bill is why I call myself ‘Doctor Sowers.'

"My home loan is through the VA, my healthcare is through the VA...it has just made me stronger and better," he said.

Getting insured can be as easy as simply walking in the doors at the VA.

"We know that a million veterans are currently uninsured, when all they need to do is come into a VA hospital," Sowers said. "We know that of the 22 veterans that tragically take their life every day, 17 of them have never sought VA healthcare."

The VA is now reaching out to veterans with 70 Mobile Vet Centers, which are big RVs all driven by vets.

"They're made so we can provide both treatment and access to care, really, anywhere these Mobile Vet Centers go," Sowers said.

Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton and one of the V.A. Mobile Vet Centers will be at Victory Place, Wednesday at 10 a.m., for the VA Boots on the Ground Ceremony. The center is located at 850 E. Jones Ave., south of Downtown Phoenix.

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