Day of Service to the Military held at local veterans resource center
About three months ago, the Waypoint-Griffin veterans resource center opened at the old county courthouse and has served some 290 veterans since then.
On Wednesday, the Zeta Phi Beta Sorority sponsored a Day of Service to the Military at Waypoint Griffin, 323 E. Broad St.
“I could not be more excited about today and the support that came out to represent the veterans and the folks who are coming to get the treatment and care that they need,” said retired Master Sgt. Sandra Brownlee, a Gulf War veteran who heads Waypoint-Griffin. “This is an awesome day. It’s always a good feeling knowing you have partners who really support you and what you do for veterans.”
Brownlee added that it was great to “have the Zeta Phi Beta sorority here sponsoring us; it’s a great day. For us to have only been doing this for 90 days tells me that we’re on the right path in doing what we were called to do and I am very grateful for that.”
Waypoint-Griffin Community Liaison Director Don Taylor, a retired master sergeant and Vietnam veteran, was also encouraged by the turnout.
““Great turnout,” he said. “These are all free services. They have taken the time out of their day to give back to our veterans. It’s wonderful — we just appreciate everybody coming together. Everybody knows we are for real. Everybody knows we are doing this for the veterans and nothing more. It’s not about us; it’s about veterans. We just want people to know what we do.”
Brownlee said things have been going very well in the three months the center has been open.
“We’ve been moving very fast but I count that on word-of-mouth and taking care of the first ones that come in and they go out and share with their other veteran friends that we’re doing something that’s beneficial at our center,” she said. “Because of that, we’re getting a steady stream of veterans coming in and to be able to help them to determine their benefits and claims, determine what they’re eligible for, and make sure that they get those things. It’s the whole point of our center and I’m very happy that we’re doing it well right now.”
Since Brownlee is a veteran, she understands the challenges that veterans face and wants to help them get the benefits they have already earned through their service to their country.
“To be able to do that (help veterans) on this day leading into the veterans holiday spirit, it’s exactly what we’re supposed to do,” she said. “We did it in the service; we took care of each other there and we’re just continuing that now — and that’s how it’s supposed to be.”
Taylor added that Spalding County has been helpful with the upgrades to the building.
“As we moved in here, the county has continued to upgrade the building,” he said. “They’ve done all the painting, keeping up with the maintenance since we are here and here for good, they are maintaining the building for us. They’ve completely transformed this into a sanctuary for veterans.”
Taylor also pointed out that Waypoint-Griffin will serve any veteran, regardless of where they are from.
“We decided we are not just going to have a five-county area,” he said. We’re going to treat every veteran that comes in; we’re going to take care of the veterans.”
Taylor also stressed the need for volunteers in the areas of counseling, any kind of knowledge of the military, housing, support services, financial counseling, and disability compensation.
“One or two (veterans) came to get their services and we gave them their services and they stayed on,” Taylor said.
For more information about Waypoint-Griffin, call 770-731-5563.
By Anthony Rhoads Assistant Managing Edior [email protected]