It’s Veteran Family Week in Sault Ste. Marie.
The week will mark four separate occasions in which local Canadian veterans facing challenges or needing information can meet with Veterans Affairs officials.
“They’re going to be getting some new information from Veterans Affairs Canada,” said Frank Iezzi, Algoma Veterans Association co-founder.
“Basically it’s information to help veterans understand where their benefits and disability paperwork is at, why it’s taking so long to get done. They’re here to help us understand that more because veterans need that help. Some very knowledgeable people are coming to help us explain that to the veterans in the city.”
Veterans can attend information sessions at the Sault Ste. Marie Armoury at 7 p.m. Tuesday and at The Water Tower Inn’s Courtyard Room at 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. Wednesday.
There will be presentations and assistance from the Veteran Family Program, Veterans Affairs Canada, the Royal Canadian Legion and the Algoma Veterans Association.
In addition, Sherry Culling, a North Bay-based Royal Canadian Legion command service officer, will be at Royal Canadian Legion Branch 25’s temporary location at The Marconi Cultural Event Centre Thursday beginning at 1 p.m. to meet with veterans, address their concerns and answer questions.
Cullen will also be available to speak with veterans at The Armoury on Tuesday and The Water Tower Inn on Wednesday.
Veterans need to book an appointment to see Culling at Royal Canadian Legion Branch 25 on Thursday by calling ahead at 705 945 8721.
“Some individuals who have signed with the Reserves or have done a year of service don’t understand that they are veterans. Once you’ve signed that dotted line and completed basic training you are a veteran,” Iezzi said.
Many Canadian veterans struggle with PTSD, physical injuries, financial and employment difficulties as well as homelessness.
“It’s getting a lot better as we keep going along. The Algoma Veterans Association has helped various veterans get some aid in what they need financially, mentally or physically. We also work with the Legion to better the overall health of veterans here in the city,” Iezzi said.