Members of the Stanislaus County Veterans Advisory Commission made an appearance at the Oakdale City Council Chambers on Monday evening, April 24. The commission, according to Chairman Richard Edgecomb, makes it a point to visit the various districts within the county in an ongoing effort to keep local veterans apprised of benefits and developments that matter in their lives.
“There are a lot of veterans out there (in Stanislaus County) who are not aware of many of the benefits their service time has earned for them,” he said. “We want to work with the various service organizations like the American Legion and the VFW (Veterans of Foreign Wars) to help veterans to take advantage of their benefits.”
Among the topics of discussion Monday night was the recent opening of the County Veterans Services Office and the Stanislaus County Area Agency on Aging office. The refurbished facility at 3500 Coffee Road in Modesto first passed county muster four years ago, when Edgecomb and other veterans approached the Stanislaus County Board of Supervisors with the idea of a one-stop, veterans services center, where all the various service agencies could be represented and local veterans could be counseled and advised in regard to services provided by the Veterans Administration.
“Back in 1994 Modesto didn’t even have a medical clinic or anything for veterans,” Edgecomb said. “We went to the (Veterans Administration) hospital at Palo Alto and asked if they could send a doctor and maybe a couple of nurses out here to visit and treat the veterans in this area who couldn’t travel.”
From the traveling doctor circuit, the veterans eventually got their own portable out on the grounds of the Scenic Hospital.
“Since then we’ve opened up clinics here in Modesto, in Stockton and recently 11 more in our area,” he said.
Edgecomb said the next big thing for area veterans will be a full-service hospital in Stockton to replace the outgrown and outdated VA clinic there.
The commission is always on the move and always looking for volunteers to become more involved in helping area veterans. For more information, contact Edgecomb through the County Veterans Services Office, (209) 558-7380.