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Veterans View: Perfect time to learn about veterans service organizations in Carroll County | COMMENTARY

Are you a veteran? Then please read this.

Carroll County is blessed to have several wonderful veterans service organizations throughout the county. What is a veterans service organization? A veteran service organization is an organization that serves veterans and the community in many ways. They assist their members and the entire veteran community. They serve as social outlets for veterans and their families. They provide a welcoming place to come where they are respected and appreciated.

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Many, if not all the organizations in Carroll County, are congressionally chartered. Most have physical posts where veterans and their friends and families can go to enjoy a nice meal, a drink, social events, family activities, and camaraderie. The groups without a physical home meet in the post of another veterans service organization, and veterans are often members of more than one organization. Veterans service organizations have veterans service officers who assist their members and other veterans with Veterans Affairs (VA) benefits and claims. These organizations hold various events throughout the year, including crab, shrimp, and chicken feeds, etc., Christmas parties, children and family activities, pool leagues, and much more for all to enjoy, feel at home and support our veterans.

The veterans service organizations are also involved in the community in many ways. Groups offer scholarship programs, oratorical contests, flag programs, parades, Veterans' Day commemorations, to name a few. Boys State is an awesome annual event sponsored by the American Legion, hosted at our own McDaniel College, which teaches high school age boys leadership and civic responsibility. In a nutshell, participants learn the rights, privileges and responsibilities of franchised citizens by actually forming a local government.

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The American Legion is the largest veterans service organization in the world. There are also service-specific organizations, like the Marine Corps League for USMC veterans and Navy corpsmen and chaplains who served with them. Faith-based veterans groups include the Catholic War Veterans, the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the Disabled American Veterans.

All of these groups exist and meet in Carroll County. There are also many other veterans service organizations which meet in other surrounding counties. Most of the organizations in Carroll County include opportunities to involve veterans' families with membership organizations such as the Sons of the American Legion, auxiliaries, youth organizations, and associate memberships.

If you are a veteran, or a family member of a veteran, please consider supporting and joining one of these wonderful organizations. Due to space constraints, all of the contact information for all of the organizations can not be listed. But those interested should send an email to marcfisher@msn.com to be pointed in the right direction according to each person’s situation and interests, both for the organizations listed and any others that might be appropriate for you.

Additional information about veterans service organizations can be accessed at militarybenefits.info/how-vsos-work and www.va.gov/vso/VSO-Directory.pdf

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Please support our veterans and their families and get involved with a veterans service organization today.

Marc S. Fisher is the chair of the Carroll County Veterans' Advisory Council.

On the first Tuesday of each month, the Times publishes as its editorial a Veterans' View, an opportunity to draw attention to veterans' issues as well as to inform and educate the community and all veterans about the multitude of available services.

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