LONG BEACH We are advocates for veterans from any branch of the service. We will help them in any way we can to get the services they need, Veterans of Foreign Wars volunteer Ray Palmer says. He and Ed Schmitz are available every Tuesday and Wednesday except holidays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the old county building at 318 Second Street in Long Beach as part of VFW Post 3721s service to veterans in the community.
Palmer noted, We will assist any veteran with claims they may have and we will answer any of their questions. We are here to help and to save them a trip to Astoria or to Seattle. We will send their claims on to the office in Seattle knowing the claims will be processed efficiently there.
He adds, Anyone wishing to join the VFW is encouraged to come in and sign up. You have to have served overseas in combat or been in an eminent danger situation such as working at an embassy. Merchant marines during World War II also qualify.
Palmer made it clear that one does not have to have served overseas to receive help from his office. Anyone who has been in the military and honorably discharged is welcome to come in for assistance with questions or claims, he says. The office has brochures and information about everything from long-term health care and honorable funerals to the Patriots Pen grade school writing programs.
Palmer served in Vietnam as a sergeant and Wednesday, Dec. 8, the day after Pearl Harbor Day, he was kibitzing with Tom Dykes who was filing a claim. Dykes, a corporal, served in Vietnam and Cuba, as did Palmer. Needless to say the stories flew fast and furious and the content went from the absurdly violent throes of war to the hilarious twists and turns of human-kind during military duty.
To talk with Palmer or Schmitz call 642-1228 or just drop by any Tuesday or Wednesday at the old county building during office hours.