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VFW SERVICE OFFICER SAYS 'IT'S OKAY TO ASK FOR HELP'

Navy veteran gives back to the veterans who paved her way.

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VFW Service Officer Cynthia Watson

At 17, Cynthia Watson up and joined the Navy.

“I knew there was a big world outside the little parish lines in Louisiana,” said Watson.

Watson spent 22 years in the Navy. When she returned to civilian life, she got right to work giving back to the veterans who paved the way for her.

Watson worked her way up the ranks of VFW Post 3073, serving terms as Post and District Commander. Then, almost three years ago, she became a certified service officer for the VFW Department of Alabama, where she also serves as adjutant quartermaster.

“I realized that service work is the best avenue to helping our veterans,” said Watson, whose office sees around 500 veterans a month!

“I’m helping veterans wherever I go,” said Watson. “On the road, in the office, in a meeting.”

Watson recently worked with a WWII veteran who suffered from several conditions from wounds he received. He had been waiting over three years for the VA to make a decision on his claim.

“He was frustrated,” said Watson. “Turns out his claim was just sitting on someone’s desk … for three years!”

As Watson shared, this man’s frustration is all too common.

“Older veterans who’ve been in the system for any length of time think the VA and the government are waiting for them to die so they don’t have to pay,” said Watson.

The mountains of claims in the VA system can make Watson’s job a challenge … along with the resistance of veterans to accept help.

“We’ve all walked the walk. Since boot camp, we’ve been told to suck it up … to man up. Most of us made careers out of never asking for help,” said Watson. “I’m here to say that it’s okay to ask for help.”

Watson is committed to helping veterans. It’s her way of giving her comrades some “relief.”

“I am a friend, a counselor and a comrade all at once. I go home with a heavy heart sometimes because I can’t do more,” said Watson.

“It’s not that veterans want a lot … they need it. They deserve it, and it’s owed to them. And I want to make sure they get it.”

 

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