SAN BENITO — They’ve been spread out all over the place.
Disabled American Veterans Chapter 121 helps military veterans with their claims at a facility at 6920 W. Expressway 83.
But it holds its monthly meetings at VFW Post 2410 at 2006 Whalen Road.
Soon, however, the chapter will conduct all its activities at one central location at 951 N. Oscar Williams Road.
“Initially it’s going to be for the meetings,” said DAV Chapter 121 Commander Jesse Garcia.
“We’re going to add 15 feet to it,” he said. “We’re going to have offices for the purpose of helping veterans with their claims and to answer any questions.”
The deal was finalized Sept. 27 with a ribbon-cutting ceremony in which Live Now Ministries formally agreed to lease the property to DAV Chapter 121 for $1 a year.
“They agreed to let us use the building,” Garcia said. “We’ll start using it in I would say four or five months.”
The situation until now has been rather cumbersome, with the DAV’s meetings being conducted on the first Tuesday of each month at the VFW post.
“Right now we have to pay to use the VFW, and it’s not our home,” Garcia said. “We have to bring all our equipment that we use for our meetings. I have to bring all my speakers, my podium, everything for the main table.”
They must also remove it after each meeting. With the new location, the chapter will be able to keep its equipment on site.
And that’s not all.
Fred Cavazos and Carlos Tamayo, both service offices for the chapter, have been handling claims for veterans at another location, on Expressway 83 leading toward McAllen. They use some office space there, but they don’t have a facility strictly for filing veterans’ claims.
“We’ve never had a facility before,” Tamayo said. “Anywhere we’re able to help veterans, anything that’s going to be a facility for us to help more veterans and families, of course everyone’s going to benefit from that.”
Tamayo and Cavazos help with all sorts of claims for benefits, including disability, pension for widows, assistance for burial, vocational training and caregiver services.
Garcia thanked Live Now Ministries for its help.
“Of course we are very grateful to them for their generosity that they have offered for us to have our own home,” he said.
For more information about DAV and benefits:
Call 956-440-6613 on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays
2 p.m. to 5 p.m.