DENHAM SPRINGS, LA (WAFB) - After serving his country for 28 years, 10 years in the Air Force and 18 in the Army, a retired Denham Springs veteran has chosen to continue his service as a volunteer with Disabled American Veterans.
The DAV is a non-profit organization that assists vets with getting disability benefits from the VA.
Al Grimmer recently moved into the old Chamber of Commerce building on Hummel Street in Denham Springs. Before, he operated in Baton Rouge, but could no longer pay the rent where he was leasing.
The City of Denham Springs voted this month to donate space to him when the chamber moved into its new building.
Right now, Grimmer is a one man operation, helping veterans fill out the paperwork which eventually ends up with the VA for them to determine if the vet will get any benefits.
He says filling out the information alone sometimes means a lot of back and forth between the veteran and the VA's office because many times it is filled out wrong or they need more information.
Grimmer has been trained on what needs to be done and says it takes him about an hour to complete the paperwork. That means a veteran could hear back in six months about their benefits.
"I haven't been crowded," Grimmer said. "But that's what we're waiting for. We're only open three days a week: Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 9 a.m. until noon."
He expects that once more veterans find out where he is located he will have less down time and more time to do what he moved there for.
"I'm here to help veterans, not to throw roadblocks in their way," said Grimmer.
He estimates Livingston Parish has about 3,600 veterans.
Though Grimmer has been helping veterans since he moved in earlier in April, the DAV will have its official grand opening May 12.