Lincoln VA holds open house to educate veterans on benefits, services

Lincoln’s VA Clinic wants veterans to give their healthcare a chance. 

They held an open house Wednesday and invited the public to learn about the services they offer. 

The Lincoln VA serves about 14,000 veterans a year – which is a number site manager Duncan Fallon says he’d like to increase. 

"We believe there are veterans in the community who do not come here for their services, we would like an opportunity to show those veterans if they qualify for benefits that they can also get service here too, that it’s a very good service," Fallon said. 

Fallon says there are many veterans who simply don’t know they’re eligible for services. 

James Varejcka, who served in the Navy, was one of them. 

"I spent 30 years not knowing I had VA benefits," he said. 

"After I had my benefits I’ve been with the VA system for probably 20 years now and I get excellent care, they get excellent doctors."

Varejcka encourages all veterans to explore whether they’re eligible for benefits. 

Harold Slaight, an Army veteran, came to the open house to do just that. 

"There are benefits the VA gives that I’m probably not aware of so I wanted to see a little bit about what the benefits were," Slaight said. 

Slaight says he’s had nothing but good experiences with the services he’s received, but the Nebraska-Western Iowa VA has seen some negative attention recently. 

Reports surfaced saying that the organization lied about how long it took for 87 patients to get psychotherapy treatment in Omaha earlier this year. 

Fallon says the issue has been addressed, and that veterans shouldn’t be concerned. 
"No veterans are being harmed in the N-W-I system," he said. 

"The veterans are getting gin in a timely manner, they’re getting the opportunity to see their providers in a timely manner. Sometimes things do happen in any system, we’ve heard about it, we’ve addressed it and are moving forward."

Fallon says anyone with questions or concerns regarding their benefits should contact their local VA.