Delegate Gregorio Kilili Sablan (Ind-MP) hosted the second—and largest—Veterans Resource Fair last Thursday at the Pedro P. Tenorio Multi-Purpose Center, with over 42 local and private agencies offering their services to CNMI veterans.
According to Sablan, since he started his first term as a delegate, he has always been an advocate of bringing to the CNMI the appropriate care for all veterans.
Because the CNMI does not have an official veterans center, Sablan said the fair would serve that purpose. “This is initially what a vet center does…we would have a place where different providers could come to the vet center on certain times.”
Sablan said he is happy to witness that the fair has grown in size, with over 50 veterans attending and over 40 service providers present. He feels, however, that there is still room to improve.
“We started on our own last year. We had our first resource fair and it was much smaller. This year, the response was awesome and growing, both in terms of veterans and providers…but we’re far from being satisfied with the services our veterans are getting,” he said.
The concept of the fair was for veterans to approach any provider and either get immediate assistance, or obtain information on how to seek the services they need.
Sablan said the fair is a step in the right direction toward the establishment of an actual veterans clinic.
“Ultimately, I would want a clinic here in the Marianas but we have to take small steps but compared to what it was when I first came in, it’s really coming to be a huge difference,” he said.
The providers with stations at the Veterans Resource Fair were the American Red Cross-NMI Chapter, Bank of Guam, Brabu Pharmacy, CNMI Department of Labor, CNMI Office of Military/Veterans Affairs, CNMI Small Business Development Center, Commonwealth Development Authority, Commonwealth Healthcare Corp., Community Guidance Center, COTA Call-a-Ride Program, Bureau of Motor Vehicles, Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve, Eucon Medical Health Service, Guam Veteran Center, Hardt Eye Clinic, Health Care Specialties, Marianas Visiting Nurses, Pacific Sleep Center, Kagman Community Health Center, Karidat Social Services, Marianas Eye Institute, Marianas Health, Marianas Medical Center, Marine Corps Activity Guam, Medical Associates of the Pacific, Medquest Medical Supply, Micronesian Legal Services, Northern Marianas College, Northern Marianas Housing Corp., Northern Marianas Humanities Council, Northern Marianas Protection and Advocacy Systems Inc., Northern Marianas Trade Institute, Office of Vocational Rehabilitation, PHI Pharmacy, Public School Systems, Saipan Chamber of Commerce, Saipan Mayor’s Office, Tan Siu Lin Foundation, U.S. Army Reserve Family Program, Veterans Benefits Administration, Veterans Health Administration, Veterans of Foreign Wars Saipan Post 3457, and West Care Pacific Islands.