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Weekly help for veteran assistance

What started as a room to help veterans has now turned into a two-story building with a restaurant included, and an establishment full of resources to help those who have served.

Every Tuesday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., the volunteers at American Veterans of Yuma help veterans with any paperwork they might have.

“We used to make appointments but so many of the veterans didn’t keep appointments,” Mike Condon, Manager of American Veterans of Yuma, said. “We decided to have one day and have all of our veterans in here and now we do 20 to 50 veterans a week.”

The volunteers help with anything from disability logs and benefits to placing veterans in new jobs or finding them a safe place to live. All the services offered are free.

The restaurant and bar are what help fund the services. The facility is opened seven days a week and serves food from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m

Condon, who served from 1953 to 1964, says most veterans are unaware of the help they qualify for.

“The government doesn’t tell veterans what their benefits are, they don’t know,” Condon said. “For instance, they don’t know if they’re not in the VA system, they’re hurting the kids coming back from Fallujah and Iraq and Afghanistan.”

For every 100 people, American Veterans help only 15 of those who have success with their paperwork. Part of the volunteer’s job is to file appeals and make phone calls until the veterans get the benefits they deserve.

American Veterans help people ages 20 to over 100, and they are open to the public seven days a week.

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