VSO hosts luncheon for area veterans

Staff Writer

The Veterans Services Office of Clay County hosted a luncheon and invited area veterans to share a meal and information.

Elizabeth Lancaster of Mississippi Veterans Affairs in Jackson had informational pamphlets to help the veterans with filing for disability, information about skilled nursing facilities for veterans and veterans cemeteries.

John Merkle from the Tuscaloosa VA Medical Center also had information for veterans in need of medical attention after their service.

CSM (R) Charlie Bolling spoke about Annie Hines-Goode, the new VSO representative for Clay County..
" I want to say a few words about our new VSO representative, Annie Hines-Goode," Bolling said. "I feel she is very competent for this position, being she is a veteran herself, with 27 years service. She strikes me as a true professional, as I have already met with her. She is a true asset to us and to the city and county."

Bolling said he was a veteran and he was proud to be so. He was happy to offer what words of encouragement he could to other veterans.
"I served 27 years in the U.S. Army," Bolling said. "I do not regret that. I do regret not doing more in service to my country."
He said for veterans of WWII, Korea, Vietnam and now the Middle East, in Afghanistan and Iraq, promises were made by the government.
"We believed in those promises," Bolling said. "And I think we still believe in those promises today. We should be aware of any changes. The normal veteran is not as aware of changes as he should be."
He said he receives a newsletter three times a year for retired veterans. He still sometimes needs to visit the VSO to have her explain what some of those changes will mean to him.
"I came into the Army in the 1950s," Bolling said. "We went where we were told to go and we got there on time. In '53 I was in Busan, Korea. I spent two years in Korea, I turned 19 while serving there."
Bolling served two tours in the jungles of Vietnam. He said serving in active duty was not all business, there were some good times during his tours.

"But now, use your head, we aren't getting any younger," Bolling said. "There is still a system in place to keep us informed about the changes going on for the veterans and their families. We just need to check in with our Veterans Services Office, right here at the courthouse. Mrs. Goode is going to help us all she can."