Employees talk benefits, programs with VA panel

By Shaun Eagan DLA Troop Support Public Affairs

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To address confusion on Veteran Affairs’ benefits and eligibility, the Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support hosted an event for military and veteran employees Nov. 27.

The Medical culture improvement team invited a Philadelphia Veterans Affairs Regional Office and Insurance Center benefits team to sit on a panel and inform the Naval Support Activity Philadelphia workforce about pensions, vocational rehabilitation and counseling.

“The main purpose of hosting this visit was to educate our DLA Troop Support and NSA Philadelphia veterans on the various benefits they qualify for by subject matter experts that are knowledgeable of their needs,” said Paul Williams, a Medical tailored vendor logistics specialist and co-lead for the event.

More than 100 employees were able to ask the panel questions related to programs for veterans and surviving spouses, non-service-connected pensions, filing claims for disability and how military personnel can prepare for separation from service duty.

Williams, an Air Force veteran, said with his experience with the VA and knowing the workforce’s high veteran population, Medical’s CIT saw an opportunity to help others and possibly improve their lives.

“With DLA Troop Support having a substantial amount of veterans in our workforce, having an event like this is essential,” Williams said. “Many of us veterans do not seek these benefits, or have the familiarity to ascertain this information. To help our veteran workforce is part of nurturing a positive culture.”

This program originated from an event in July for Medical employees.

“We hosted a VA benefit-brief event for our Medical employees this past summer,” Yvonne Poplawski, Medical’s CIT co-lead, said. “Due to the to the overwhelming success, our commander, Army Brig. Gen. Mark Simerly, requested that we mirror the event for all of our veterans, veteran spouses, and active duty personnel here on base.”

The CIT hosts events throughout the year that addresses communication, training, onboarding and succession planning for Medical employees. The team was created in 2014 to help address the workforce’s needs based on their input through the DLA Culture Survey.

Visit the Veterans Affairs Philadelphia Regional Office website for more information about veteran benefits.