At the very least, our veterans should be able to access the benefits that they so valiantly earned.

That's where functions such as the Veterans Outreach Assistance program held at the office of state Rep. Julie Harhart (R-Lehigh/Northampton) come in handy.

Offered recently at Harhart's Slatington branch, the program hosted veterans who met with Frederick Smith, veterans outreach specialist, from the American Legion in Wilkes-Barre.

As part of his visit, Smith met with local veterans to assist them with any issues they may have such as being able to access their benefits and services from the U.S. Veterans Affairs.

Harhart said the program has proved beneficial to those who have taken advantage of it.

"It's to help our veterans who have questions, trouble with their VA; these are services Fred provides," Harhart said. "So far, they have been very successful."

Of the program, Smith added "I think the veterans are very grateful."

Barry Jones, of Slatington, was among the local veterans who sat down for an appointment with Smith.

Jones, a Vietnam veteran, said he thought the program could help answer several questions he had.

"I came to check on some disability [matters]," Jones said. "And about my records."

The veterans outreach specialist is available the first Thursday of each month on alternating months at Harhart's Slatington or Northampton district offices.