WAXAHACHIE — For the very first time, the Veterans of Foreign Wars Wolter-Ashley Memorial Post 3894 will host an event and raffle drawing Sunday, Nov. 13. The event begins at 8 a.m. with a pancake breakfast in which donations for the VFW will be accepted.

Post Quartermaster Patrick Perez shared that the focus of the event is to help veterans find a place where they can come together and speak with the VA directly and not over the phone.

“We’re going to actually have the VA staff here for a true opportunity to have a face to face meeting with those individuals. They will find out whether they should start a claim, or find out where their claim is at. Several Texas State entities will be here, the Texas Veteran’s Commission, the Texas Workforce Commission and the Texas Landboard,” Perez said.

Having both the state of Texas and the VA at the event will be beneficial to veterans needing to find out what benefits they are entitled to.

“Along with that, we’ve started a raffle to assist us in collecting funds so we can continue to be a part of the action within the community and reach out to veterans,” Perez said.

Post Commander Randy Hughes shared that the raffle winner will be announced at the event and tickets at $10 apiece.

“Our long-time partnership with the Faith Armory provided us with a donation of a Remington AR-15 which we will give away at the raffle,” Hughes said.

Bartender Lauren Rainbolt stated that she believes the event be very beneficial to those who are in attendance.

“The benefit is to help veterans understand the benefits that they are entitled to for serving our country. Something that they may feel is too difficult to get through the VA. It will be great to get to help them out,” Rainbolt said.

All three are hopeful that the event will draw in veterans who are new to the area or haven’t joined the VFW yet.

“A lot of people have misconceptions about what we do. The old day of us sitting in a dark room, smoking cigarettes and drinking beer have passed,” Perez said. With that being said, some people do not understand that the VFW is commissioned with a mission to reach out to it’s community and do good works. That is what we want to do and emphasize to potential members, veterans and the community at large."

As well as state and VA representatives, different colleges will be in attendance.

“Right now we have TSTC from Red Oak coming out. They’re going to talk about their programs and how veterans can utilize their benefits so that their degree plan and certificates are available. We’ve reached out to Stephen F. Austin University and Navarro College,” Perez explained.

Hughes added that a representative from the USAA would be available to speak with at the event.

“Any veteran that wants to sign up with them to start a checking account will be able to. They will be coaching financial literacy as well,” Hughes said.

Free flu shots will be provided to those with a VA ID card.

“We want everyone to understand that this is a community outreach. Yes, it is for veterans, but anybody can come,” Perez explained. “We’re hoping family members of veterans come out and learn about the benefits their families may be entitled to. It’s a way for us to demonstrate to the community that we do more at large than just hanging out in a building with a cantina.”

Raffle tickets may be purchased at the VFW Post located at 1405 N HWY I35 Waxahachie, TX. For any questions regarding the event or tickets, please call (972) 937-7007.

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Kelsey Poynor, @KPoynor_WDL

(469) 517-1454