Forum for veterans in Xenia on Monday

The gathering, set for 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Monday, will be inside the media room at the Greene County Social Services Building, 571 Ledbetter Road in Xenia.

Nearly 20 groups — from area universities and colleges, to the Dayton VA and veterans service offices, among others — are expected.

“I think we struggle as a society, and that includes us here in our region, to sort out all the resources and services available to our veterans, and there are a ton of them,” said State Rep. Rick Perales, R-Beavercreek, an Air Force veteran and a forum organizer. “But it’s a challenge for the veterans themselves to sort through it all.”

Perales urged veterans’ family and friends to find out what services could be tapped for former service members, some of whom may be reluctant to attend. “Veterans are a rare breed and the vast majority don’t like to ask for help,” he said.

If an attendee doesn’t find what he or she is looking for, an advocate might be able to find an answer, the state lawmaker added.

“The key is if the resource isn’t there that they’re looking for, there will be people there to help them find (it),” he said.

Each county in Ohio has a veterans service commission to help former service members file benefit claims or obtain financial assistance.

The state has more than 865,000 veterans. Nationally, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has estimated 21.7 million veterans live in the United States.

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