You don’t have to tell LaRanda Holt about how confusing and complicated the healthcare and benefits system can be for vets. “I was one of the statistics,” she says with a sad smile at a recent Montero Medical Missions Vets Health Fair in Chesapeake, Virginia. “I was one of the people who are getting lost.”
Just a few years ago, this former U.S. Navy corpsman was virtually homeless because of complications with her disability benefits after separating from the service. Today she has landed on her feet with a good job and plans to continue her education to study health care law.
On this Saturday in July, LaRanda (on the left in photo with other volunteers) is spending the day at a health fair helping local vets get screening and professional healthcare support from doctors and experts who are also giving of their time. The program, a quarterly service of Montero Medical Missions, uses volunteer escorts to check in vets and help on the spot, with no wait, no copay and no hassle. And other experts are also site to point the vets towards the next step, whether its for follow-up treatment, sometimes available at no cost, or how to manage their benefits to get treatment if necessary.
“I am grateful there are programs like this to offer hope and answers to vets,” says LaRanda.
And we are thankful that folks like LaRanda are there to give back and help make it possible.