Retired Col. Matt Elledge, senior deputy director of Veterans Programs for the Veterans Land Board and former Fort Hood garrison commander, speaks Friday, March 17, 2017, at a Central Texas Military Officers of America Association luncheon at the Shilo Inn Restaurant in Killeen.

Helping veterans understand their benefits, and how to use them, was the message from retired Army Col. Matt Elledge, senior deputy director of veterans programs for the Veterans Land Board, to the Central Texas Military Officers of America Association.

“Help me, help the vets,” said Elledge, a former Fort Hood garrison commander, at the chapter’s monthly meeting Friday at the Shilo Inn in Killeen.

Elledge oversees all VLB loan programs, among other programs, and said many Texas veterans are not aware of what the Veterans Land Board is and what it can do for them, so he challenged the members to know about their benefits and to use them.

“In Texas, we have almost 2 million veterans, but less than 20 percent use the benefits they have earned,” he said.

Sometimes a veteran doesn’t even know what questions to ask, but a call to the help line will get the process started. “Any Texas veteran can call 1-800-252-VETS and one of our counselors will help that veteran find the right questions to ask and then find the right answers,” Elledge added.

Next month’s guest speaker is Maj. Gen. Paul Funk II, incoming commander of III Corps and Fort Hood. The meeting starts at 11:30 a.m. April 21 at Shilo Inn, 3701S S. W.S. Young Drive.

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