VA takes services to veterans on the road

Lauren Wood | Buy at photos.djournal.com Don Moore, with the Memphis Vet Center, right, and Richard Pharr, Veterans Service Officer of Tishomingo County, set up an information table outside of the Vet Center mobile unit Wednesday morning in Tishomingo.

Lauren Wood | Buy at photos.djournal.com
Don Moore, with the Memphis Vet Center, right, and Richard Pharr, Veterans Service Officer of Tishomingo County, set up an information table outside of the Vet Center mobile unit Wednesday morning in Tishomingo.

By Lena Mitchell

Daily Journal Corinth Bureau

TISHOMINGO – When the Memphis Mobile Vet Center rolls into town, veterans are always glad to see it.

No matter the number of veterans who come for services, large or small, counseling outreach technician Don Moore is glad to see them.

“We are bringing services to all the counties we serve,” Moore said. “The VA 2 Vets Initiative began in March, and we have until March 2015 to get to all of our counties.”

Moore was in Pontotoc and Union counties on Monday and in Tishomingo County – Tishomingo and Iuka – on Wednesday.

Today he’s in Prentiss County from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Prentiss County AgriCenter, and on Friday a representative will be in Corinth 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Crossroads Arena.

Gaines Griffin of Tishomingo is a 69-year-old Navy and Marine Corps veteran who served 1963-67 in the Navy and 1973-74 in the Marines, including in Vietnam.

“I guess I’m a glutton for punishment,” he said.

Griffin came to the mobile unit with some issues and correspondence from the VA he wanted to discuss.

Tishomingo County Veterans Service Officer Richard Pharr was at the mobile unit as well, and Griffin’s issues are ones he can help resolve.

“I haven’t been in this job very long, about two and a half years, but I’m a veteran myself and all I want to do is to help with their problems,” Pharr said.

Each county’s veteran officer is expected to be available at the different stops. They work with veterans on benefit and medical needs.

Moore’s outreach efforts are to assure veterans receive readjustment counseling, helping them get back into society after their combat and war experiences and assisting them and their families. He is a combat veteran of Iraq who served in the U.S. Army 1986-2008 and was awarded the Purple Heart. He’s been the Memphis outreach officer since the program was founded in 2009.

“I’ve been there, so I know what it’s like,” Moore said. “I still have more counties in this area to visit, but I’m doing all I can to reach those service centers and get dates set up with them.”

lena.mitchell@journalinc.com