When I comes to helping our veterans and their families, William “Dub” White and Ed Wilson believe in the power of numbers. Through years of hard work they, and their team, have brought together a vast network of veteran and military service organizations that can achieve far more as a group than they can separately.
It’s called the “Veterans and Military Coalition of the Ozarks” (VMCO) and they’re headquartered in Branson. The Boone County Disabled American Veterans is proud to be a member of VMCO and supports their great work. Every time we have a veteran whose needs are beyond our resources, they have immediately jumped in and helped out.
Their vision of uniting the collective power of service organizations in the Ozarks has exploded into in 26 states and two countries. They now work on behalf of over 11,000 veterans and the numbers are growing every day. When the VMCO calls the Veterans Administration, they can get someone on the phone who knows how to get results.
“We harness all the great efforts provided by the local veteran support organizations to give them a single, powerful voice,” stated Dub White, president of the VMCO. “Our goal is to ensure that all veterans, military service members and their families can access the full range of benefits and services available to them, without hassles and unnecessary delays.”
The VMCO also promotes legislation to protect the interest of the entire uniformed service community, educates the public about their great sacrifices and needs and provides a structure through which veterans can help fellow veterans through a variety of volunteer programs.
“The preparation, documentation and follow-through of VA claims can be overwhelming,” Ed Wilson, vice president and director of Veteran Services said. “We try to make the process less intimidating and are often able to cut through the red tape. We also have access to agencies, attorneys and people with specialized skills that can help. Of course, all volunteer services and efforts are free of charge to the veteran.”
One of things they specialize in is taking claims unfairly denied by the VA and try to get that decision reversed. They also have a variety of resources to provide support for families of veterans, veteran burial issues and widowed spouses.
“The VMCO is fortunate to have the support of Senator Boozman and his staff, as well as other elected leaders who are always ready and willing to help,” president White added. “Having them fighting for our warriors and looking out for their best interest is critical to our mission.”
The VMCO assists in mobility device maintenance and repair for veterans as well as locating good nursing home care, adult foster care and assisted living options. They also support the “Shop With A Hero” program and work closely with hospitals to ensure the veterans get the best medical care available, as well as help fix billing issues.
The “Power of Numbers” has proven to be an extremely valuable tool in ensuring our warriors and their families are properly taken care of. If you need assistance or wish to volunteer your skills, you can contact the VMCO at vmco1.org or call 417-527-3345.
Matt Russell is a USMC Vietnam combat veteran and Commander of the Boone County DAV. The opinions expressed in this column are his alone and do not represent the position of this newspaper, the Disabled American Veterans or any other organization. You can contact Matt at email@example.com.