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    MIVDF go above and beyond to help veterans



    Story by Staff Sgt. Jason Boyd 

    Michigan National Guard

    GRAYLING, Mich. – The Michigan Volunteer Defense Force (MIVDF), an element of the Michigan Department of Military and Veterans Affairs that fill a homeland security role as designated by the adjutant general of the state, have gone above and beyond this past year by helping to ensure that Michigan veterans receive their retirement benefits.

    MIVDF has been assisting the Michigan Department of Military and Veterans Affairs by tracking down eligible veterans who are unaware of pensions and benefits they should be receiving. Once located, MIVDF volunteers assist the veterans with completing the administrative paperwork needed to receive their benefits. The MIVDF volunteers who perform this service out of their own pocket for fuel and expenses.

    “These volunteers go out to these veterans’ homes on their own time and on their own dime to make sure that these men and woman get the benefits that they deserve. There are hundreds of veterans who have benefits coming that either don’t know they are eligible to receive them or don’t have the means to come in and fill out the necessary paperwork on their own,” said Sgt. David Saunders, Michigan National Guard retirement planning noncommission officer.

    In the last year the MIVDF has helped 226 veterans recover a total of $594,350.12 dollars in back pay benefits that they are entitled to and $1,754,039.66 has been paid out in benefits since they began providing this service, starting in January 2013.

    “This all started with a widow coming in looking for which benefits her deceased husband had and we found from there that were more than 50 veterans over 60 years old that hadn’t filed for benefits,” said Chief Warrant Officer 2 James Jones, Michigan Volunteer Defense Force.

    “We will come to you if you need help, we just want to ensure that everyone gets the benefits they are entitled. Many of these veterans don’t even have computers or even bank accounts and we are there to help them with that every step of the way,” said Jones.

    “We don’t work 9 to 5 we will come to you at 9 p.m. on a Sunday if that’s the only time you have available because the veterans are what matter most,” said Jones.

    “These volunteers understand that these veterans deserve every benefit they have coming, they put their lives on the line to ensure that we have the freedoms that we sometimes take for granted today, and they should get all the help we can give,” said Saunders.

    For information on receiving benefits, please contact The Department of Military and Veterans Affairs 3411 N. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. Lansing, MI 48906, 517-322-5103.

    (For more information, contact Staff Sgt. Jason Boyd at (810)429-5616)



    Date Taken: 08.22.2014
    Date Posted: 08.22.2014 08:58
    Story ID: 140123
    Location: GRAYLING, MI, US 

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