More than 25 Soldiers assigned to the 205th Military Intelligence Battalion, 500th MI Brigade and the Veterans Affairs Vet Center and U.S. Vets teamed up and conducted veterans outreach effort, June 11, at Kaka'ko Park.

The Soldiers were a part of a coordinated outreach program between the U.S. Army-Pacific and various veterans agencies focused on assisting homeless veterans with VA benefits information and having Soldiers advise the veterans.

Additionally, Soldiers volunteered their time to help homebound veterans who need assistance, while others cleaned headstones at a veterans cemetery.

Sgt. Todd Sherman, a human intelligence collector, assigned to Company A, 205th MI Bn., said being a part of the volunteer opportunity was a great way to give back to those who have worn the uniform previously.

"Talking to a lot of them, they don't even know the benefits they are capable of getting," he said. "It's important that we are able to come out and just inform them about what they're entitled to."

After meeting up at the Vet Center's mobile center, the volunteers walked the streets around Kaka'ako Waterfront and A'ala Park in search of veterans, to advise them about available VA programs while handing out hygiene kits and lunch. The Soldiers served an important role during the day by approaching homeless veterans to encourage them to connect with VA personnel.
"It was a great experience to have contact with the veterans, and having the connection to the Soldiers makes them (the veterans) more receptive," said Macy Sevaaetasi, an outreach case manager with U.S. Vets.

Although the focus of the project was veterans, the Soldiers also helped clean up the park, and rendered assistance to other homeless people within the park walking through the area.

"We're trying to help as many people as we can," said Sherman.

Page last updated Fri June 21st, 2013 at 00:00