On Nov. 17, Eagle One will be in San Tan Valley; the site is yet to be determined
The Pinal County Board of Supervisors was treated to a special presentation by Kim Rodriguez from Honoring/Hiring/Helping Our Heroes of Pinal County.
This organization is focused on one goal – helping our veterans, whether they need help with benefits they are due, navigating through the Veteran’s Affairs system or even finding a job. They are doing this by creating a network of providers and contacts that can assist our veterans find the answers they need.
When it comes to Veterans’ Affairs, Pinal County is woefully underserved with only one location for the entire area. Now remember, Pinal County has over 40,000 men and women who have served in our armed forces.
Rodriguez and I had been working on this issue for a few years and went through some ideas on how to reach veterans who are not able to access needed services. HOHP was created to fill that gap in service provision to our veterans.
With a county larger than the state of Connecticut, HOHP had a real challenge on their hands. How would they be able to serve the cities and towns outside of Casa Grande on a quarterly basis? Finding adequate meeting rooms is not an easy chore to accomplish in each town.
HOHP took a huge step forward in 2014 when Ms. Rodriguez met our public health director at the Pinal County Town Hall. She explained their situation and asked for advice on how to reach out to our county’s veterans. By coincidence, our public health department had opened two new clinics in Maricopa and San Tan Valley, thus eliminating a need for their mobile health clinic that the county had purchased with funds granted to us from the Gila River Indian Community.
After some work on the issue, it was agreed that Pinal County would sell the unused mobile health clinic to HOHP for one dollar. In December 2014, we finalized the deal and sold the mobile health clinic to HOHP. This was a very proud day for me, I was honored to be a member of the board of supervisors that had gone the extra mile to help our veterans.
After some minor improvements to the interior and a new colorful wrapping placed on the exterior, the mobile health clinic was christened “Eagle One” in September 2015.
Since that time, Eagle One has been to every corner of the county and taken part in numerous civic activities. There have been 625 visitors who have passed through the doors of Eagle One. I’m sure those numbers will continue to rise. We have a lot of veterans who have yet to be seen, but if I know Ms. Rodriguez and her helpers with Eagle One, they will make an effort to help each and every one of them.
The next time Eagle One will pass through District 2 is 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 8, at the Florence American Legion. On Thursday, Nov. 17, Eagle One will be in San Tan Valley; the site is yet to be determined.
For more information on HOHP go to http://hohp4heroes.org or call 520-431-5663.
My sincere thanks to all our veterans for their service to our great nation.
Pinal County Board of Supervisors