Macomb County nonprofit organization helps veterans get care they need

Veteran's Access Center needs help from community

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MOUNT CLEMENS, Mich. – A Metro Detroit veteran's disabilities had him in and out of the Veterans' Affairs Hospital, and a nonprofit organization helped him when he had trouble navigating the system.

"PTSD, my back and neck, my right shoulder had to be put back in the socket and tied in there twice, both my knees had to be repaired twice," U.S. Army veteran Larry Evans said. "I ended up with two heart conditions."

Evans' injuries are the result of his 13 years of service, and he often needs medical attention. He has had difficulty navigating through the VA system but found help in the Veteran's Access Center organization.

"We are what they need at the moment," Stacia Miller said. "If they need a shoulder to cry on, we're a shoulder to cry on."

"She's gone to appointments with me or she's been there on the phone, you know?" Evans said.

Miller is an attorney and the president of the Sailor, Soldier, Airman and Marine Access Center, or Veteran's Access Center.

"If they need me to go downtown to Detroit and hold their hand as they walk through the system, then I hold their hand and walk through the system," Miller said.

She has helped veterans fight for money, battle legal issues and more, free of charge.

"I'm a disabled veteran," Miller said. "My father is a disabled veteran. My mother is a disabled veteran. My step-father, both my grandfathers -- we've all served this country. It took me years to get my disability rating."

Unfortunately, the Veteran's Access Center is at risk of shutting down for good. Miller doesn't take home a paycheck but is still short the organization's operating costs. Several fundraising events are planned, but if the nearly $10,000 needed isn't raised, she plans to close.

Miller is begging for help from the community. She wants to keep fighting for people who serve the country.

"More than going to the Memorial Day parade," Miller said. "Parades are great, but who are you helping (by) standing on the corner waving a flag? We need help. We have people who need help."

Veteran's Access Center has an upcoming poker tournament and other fundraising events to try to raise the rest of the operational costs needed to stay running. 

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