If you're a veteran, there's a very good chance you have had to muddle your way through a tangle of government red tape to tap into benefits. It can be a confounding mess. In Northeast Missouri, you have a new resource to help you work your way through the maze.

The Missouri Veterans Commission, working with the Missouri Job Center, is starting up a new group named "Roll Call". Veterans and their spouses will learn about compensation, pension and education benefits.

The group is the brainchild of Veterans Service Officer, John Simpson. "I see a need for veterans to get more information about VA benefits and a place for veterans to get together, drink a cup of coffee, have a doughnut and tell a few clean jokes," Simpson said.

This group is a resource for any need really. Simpson told me the story of a spouse of a deceased veteran who needed some work done around the house. He was able to find some volunteers to help her out.

The first meeting of Roll Call is Wednesday, August 8 at 9:00 a.m. at the Hannibal Nutrition Center. The guest speaker will be Todd Henderson from the Harry S Truman VA Hospital. He's considered the subject matter expert when it comes to VA healthcare enrollment and benefits.

If you can't make the meeting, help is still available in Northeast Missouri at the Missouri Veterans Commission. The office is in the Hannibal Career Center on S. 6th street. For more information call John Simpson at (573) 248-2550.