Franklin’s American Legion Post 108 held a free medical clinic to provide area veterans and their families with information about health care opportunities in the region.
Nineteen vendors, some of whom traveled all the way from Asheville, volunteered their Saturday to visit with Macon County veterans and answer any questions they could about their respective areas of expertise.
Donna Alexander, a rural health nurse from the V.A. Hospital in Asheville was on hand to assist veterans in enrolling in the hospital’s program and to answer questions regarding benefits and hospital procedures. “We just want to make it as easy as possible for veterans to get the health care and benefits they deserve,” said Alexander.
Several doctors and nurses from Macon County volunteered their time to provide initial health assessments for those who attended. Melissa Butler, a registered nurse who currently works for a local nursing home, met with veterans and their family members to provide preliminary checkups and then further health care recommendations.
Many aspects of the health care field were covered, from Optical Illusions answering questions regarding eye care to Kerr Drug’s pharmacist, Jerry Parker, who was available for veterans to make arrangements for bulk prescriptions as well as help manage individual prescriptions. Parker also informed the veterans that they could visit Kerr Drug to receive a free flu shot.
Dr. William Barnes met with veterans to offer spinal screenings and address back problems. He was assisted by a massage therapist who was available for back massages. “We just want to help our veterans feel a little better,” said Dr. Barnes. “They do so much for us, any chance we can give back to them and show our appreciation, we definitely want to.”
Representatives from Nantahala Physical Therapy met with veterans to give balance and coordination tests and to offer further recommendations.
Representatives from organizations such as the Social Security office, Macon Valley Nursing and Rehabilitation, Macon Senior Services and Bryant-Grant Funeral Home all volunteered their time to help veterans in any and every way possible to show their gratitude and appreciation for their selfless dedication to our country.
Brenda and Jim Duboise, along with Bill Trapani from the American Legion Post 108, helped out at the clinic to sign veterans up at the Legion and to welcome all those in attendance.
“Us veterans can use all the help we can get sometimes,” said Trapani. “We wanted to organize this so as many veterans as possible could get as much information as possible, because sometimes we need to be taken care of, too.”