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ROVER Reaches Out to Veterans in Rural Nevada

PHOTO: A state program reaching out to veterans in Nevada's rural areas is growing in popularity. Photo courtesy U.S. Dept. of Defense.
PHOTO: A state program reaching out to veterans in Nevada's rural areas is growing in popularity. Photo courtesy U.S. Dept. of Defense.
April 22, 2014

CARSON CITY, Nev. - Veterans living in rural Nevada will likely have the opportunity to meet with a Veterans Services officer without having to leave town. ROVER, which stands for "Rural Outreach for Veterans Enrichment and Resources," is the way the State Department of Veterans Services (DVS) provides Veterans Administration (VA) services in small towns. The ROVER program has upcoming visits scheduled in Battle Mountain, Hawthorne, Silver Springs and Winnemucca.

DVS spokesman Charles Pullen said it involves setting up at an American Legion hall or similar location and meeting with vets.

"That's its primary purpose, to go out and assist veterans with claims for veterans benefits," Pullen said.

Pullen said about 10 percent of Nevadans, some 300,000 people, are veterans. The numbers double by counting a veteran's family members, who are also eligible for VA benefits.

It appears that the word is getting around about the convenience of the ROVER program.

"For instance, down in Douglas County, we have to do it by appointment only. We don't do walk-ins down there because it's been so successful," he said.

It helps if rural businesses and individuals who know about an upcoming ROVER visit promote it by posting flyers and through word-of-mouth, he added.

Troy Wilde/Diane Ronayne, Public News Service - NV