Criss-crossing Connecticut to help veterans

ORANGE, Conn. (WTNH) — Edwin Quinones is a veteran of both the Army and Marines. His time serving our country in the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq left him with PTSD that still impacts him.

“I’m dealing with a lot of nightmares,” he said. “I wake up screaming, crying, scare my wife half to death all the time. She’s always been there for me.”

And the non-profit group, Disabled American Veterans is there, too. Workers are hopping into a minibus they call the DAV Mobile Service Center and they’re driving to places all over Connecticut — making stops where they can reach and help veterans who have a tough time knowing everything they need to know to successfully file benefits claims.

News 8 caught up with one of the mobile service centers as it made a stop at the New Haven Vet Center in Orange. That’s where we found Miguel Cintron walking  Edwin through the process of filing claims for his PTSD.

“Okay, so I’m going to need what’s called a PTSD Stressor Statement,” Miguel said. “You have to complete that. We can complete the claim form for you and submit it and I’ll need a power of attorney if we don’t already represent you.”

“There’s a power of attorney  that’s between the Benefits Administration, you, and the DAV, and what it does is it gives me access to your file and your claim file. I will not get access to your health care — that’s protected,” Miguel continued. “And I will submit the intent to file with the power of attorney to get things going. That’s when you return the PTSD Stressor  statement, then I submit the claim.”

The DAV says it does this because they know the process can be an exhaustive and confusing battle for many veterans. Miguel is happy he and others are here to lend a helping hand and veterans like Edwin are happy, too.

“I’m a service-connected veteran and I know when I went through the process myself I just didn’t know that organization s like the DAV existed that can guide me through the process,” Miguel said.

“This is great,” said Edwin. “Not only for me, but for everyone that needs help. This is great.”

Here is the upcoming schedule for the Mobile Service Center. Visits are free.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017
9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
DAV Milford Chapter 15
45 New Haven Avenue
Milford, Connecticut.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017
9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Downtown Shopping Plaza
1 South Main Street
Torrington, Connecticut.

Thursday, August 31, 2017
9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Danbury Vet Center
457 North Main Street
Danbury, Connecticut.

Friday, September 1, 2017
9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Hartford Vet Center
25 Elm Street
Rocky Hill, Connecticut

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