Event in Wilmington helps veterans waiting years for disability benefits

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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — A three day event called the Veterans Experience Action Center kicked off Thursday at American Legion Post 10 on Pine Grove Drive in Wilmington.

This is the fourth annual event in our area. Veterans Affairs administrators are there, helping veterans and their dependents with claims and appeals.

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“The majority of them are desert storm veterans, Afghan veterans, but there are some Vietnam veterans here too trying to get some assistance,” said American Legion Department of North Carolina Commander James Quinlan.

Organizers say filing with the VA can sometimes take five to six years, but through this event veterans receive checks the same day.

“It has taken some of our veterans who have been getting 0 to 10 percent disability up to 100 percent, which takes them out of poverty and being able to give them the necessary funds in order for them to be able to live a decent life,” said Tom Cerniglia, chair of the Cape Fear Region VEAC.

The event served approximately 350 people on Thursday, attracting veterans from several states away.

It continues Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. and Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.