BEDFORD HEIGHTS - The theme of the day at South East Harley Davidson on Aurora road in Bedford Heights was to make sure that local US veterans know all the services that are available to them.
"We travel out in the community," said Jack Burlingame of the Disabled American Veterans who sponsored the event. He said his organization helps veterans fill out paperwork helping them become eligible to receive benefits.
The organization also known as D.A.V. does not charge for this service. "So many veterans feel confused about benefits and services they've earned," David Bilinovich said in a news release.
Julius Block, a Richmond Heights resident and World War II veteran, said he has been battling the Veterans Administration for a decade. "I put my claim in almost eight or ten years ago for a thyroid problem," he said while filling out paperwork, waiting to be seen. Block said he believes his problem stems back from when he served. He said he was over exposed during x-ray treatments. "They said I just got to keep waiting," he continued.
Burlingame said more information is out there but many veterans are still unaware they can get help with things like home loan guarantees and educational assistance.
The Marine and Army veteran talked to NewsChannel 5 while he sat on his hand made 2010 Screaming Eagle motorcycle. "Nobody ever told us that we had these benefits available," he said, speaking about when he retired from the service. "Most veterans that don't know about their benefits are always surprised. And the ones that do know are always happy when we tell them about the other things available to them. "
The D.A.V. has 55 national offices and is the only national service organization based here in Ohio. It was recognized by congress in 1932.
To learn more about the D.A.V. you can visit their website at: http://www.ohiodav.org/