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New veteran call-in service coming to the Miami Valley

New veteran call-in service coming to the Miami Valley

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – A direct phone line for veteran assistance is about to launch here in the Miami Valley.

VetsLink 211 will become operational Tuesday and the call center will be run entirely by veterans.

“We know sometimes there is a lot of red tape to get to those benefits,” said Keesan Lasley, who served just under three decades in the U.S. Army.

Lasley will man the phones and help his fellow brothers and sisters navigate resources they earned fighting for our country.

“I thought what better way to pay it back. To be able to help veterans get access to the benefits that exist for them,” said Lasley.

The confidential 24-hour, year-round service was made possible by grants, grass-root donations and a $120,000 donation by SRC Inc.

United Way of Greater Dayton says the service will be available to Montgomery, Greene, Preble, Warren, Butler, Clinton, Clark, Champaign and Madison counties.

Simply dial 2-1-1 in those areas and you will be on your way.

“We talked to several veterans and they said the biggest problem we have is that we love the services that are available, but how do we determine what ones to choose?” said United Way of Greater Dayton CEO, Tom Maultsby.

VetsLink 211 will also track data and United Way hopes that will give community leaders an idea of what services are needed.

“We will be able to let people know and give alerts to people that are in this space and even families…telling them what is going on with veterans. What are they asking for. What do they need. We will be able to make that information available to anyone who needs it,” said Maultsby.

If you are a veteran that needs help, don’t worry about the red tape. Call someone at Vetslink who has walked in your shoes.

“What I would say is to hang in there. Help is on the way,” said Lasley.

United Way is hoping that other veteran services come to them so they can be a hub and a one-stop- shop for veterans that need it most.

The service is officially available on November 13, 2018.