Help for veterans announced

By Emily Bialkowski

Caledonia Argus


Minnesota veterans who experienced damages or sustained a loss due to the flooding events over the weekend of June 21 may be eligible for assistance from the Minnesota Department of Veteran Affairs.

Applications for reimbursement dollars are available through the Houston County Veterans Services Office.

Some of the items that may qualify are:

• Building materials

• Cleaning supplies

• Food – maximum reimbursement $500 with receipts dated between June 21 through June 28

• Rental costs for generators, water pumps, sump pumps, bobcats, backhoes, chain saws, etc.

• Shelter costs if displaced

• Sheet rock

• Flooring – carpet, wood, hardwood or tile

“Basically, the state department of veterans affairs made temporary grants available,” Houston County Veterans Service Officer Rob Gross said.

Because it is a reimbursement program, applicants will need receipts to accompany an application.

In terms of how many veterans may have been affected by storm damage, Gross said, “We really don’t have any idea of numbers. We know of many people who had damages, and they said, ‘I’ll take care of it myself.’”

Roughly $150,000 had been awarded to county veterans when a similar program was offered before.

“It’s not a windfall, but it will certainly help out some folks,” Gross said.

The deadline to apply for help is Sept. 30, 2013.

Applications and copies of receipts must be dated between June 21, 2013, and Sept. 30, 2013.

To apply, Houston County veterans should contact Houston County Veteran Services at 507-725-5805. Veterans from Fillmore County should call Fillmore County Veteran Services at 507-765-4937. Gross said he encourages veterans to call their respective office  so staff can verify an applicant has all the needed materials and documentation.