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Las Cruces veterans invited to March 22-23 summit in El Paso


Military veterans and their families in Las Cruces and Doña Ana County are invited to participate in Veteran and Caregiver Survivorship and Estate Planning Summit #2, which will be held 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Wednesday-Thursday, March 22-23, at Ascarate Park Pavilion, 6900 Delta Drive, in El Paso.

The event will include information about and assistance with veterans benefits, survivor benefits, burial planning, Ft. Bliss National Cemetery, wills and advanced directives, the U.S. Veterans Administration (VA) caregiver program and estate and financial planning, said Brian S. Weeden, Gateway Senior Solutions (GSS) independent broker in El Paso, who is one of the event’s principal organizers.

“In 2013 when I first started my career in the financial industry, so many of my clients had questions,” Weeden said. “I spoke with a veteran who believed that the VA will pay for 100 percent of his funeral, which unfortunately is a very common myth. I also spoke with a lady in her mid-80s, and she said that no one has ever explained how Medicare worked as I did. I love being able to help people understand the opportunities that are out there,” he said.

“As a 13-year Army veteran, I know first-hand how important events like these are,” Weeden said. “As service members, we are almost told from the start that if we need something they (the government) will provide it. Although that is correct while we are serving, it all changes when we leave the service.”

Weeden said he started GSS to help people who “were very worried, frustrated, even scared when they start to think about their retirement (because) they have to go to so many different agencies. It is up to the individual to put everything together and hope they get it right,” said Weeden, who has 10 years’ experience as an insurance broker and working with Medicare, he said. Weeden has a degree in accounting and finance.

The summit will help attendees “understand what benefits the VA can help them with,” he said. “It is important for (them) to understand where the benefit gaps are and the limits to many programs.”

To attend the summit, RSVP by email to epcountyhiddenheroes@gmail.com or by phone to 915-875-8570, extension 3.

Visit www.gatewayseniorsolutions.com.