County Hiring New Director Of Veterans Affairs

From Potter County Today

veteransPotter County Commissioners at last week’s meeting approved the hiring of a Shinglehouse native and 20-year U.S. Army veteran to fill a pending vacancy in the position of Director of Veterans Affairs. William “Will” Worthington, who is retiring from the Coudersport Post Office, will serve an internship under Veterans Affairs Director Byron Sutton during a transition period. Sutton, who succeeded Leonard Kalkbrenner Jr. upon his retirement last year, has accepted a full-time position in the gas and oil industry. Worthington will participate in state-sponsored training later this year to prepare himself for certification.

 

Commissioner Paul Heimel recently attended a seminar during which several speakers emphasized how county governments will be expected to play a greater role in providing assistance to military veterans during the coming years, as troops return home from serving in Iraq and Afghanistan and as those serving in previous wars turn to their home counties for help. Of particular note is a movement by Congress to support specialized criminal justice services for military veterans, in conjunction with the growing number of drug/alcohol/mental health “specialty courts” being established. On a related issue, operators of county jails are being encouraged to revise their prisoner intake process to determine whether an incoming prisoner is a veteran. If so, the inmate may have special needs and could be eligible for coverage of medical care and other services through the VA, saving money for the county.

 

Other notes of interest:

  • Several counties have shifted their Veterans Affairs Department into their Human Services Department to better leverage funding streams and share support staff.
  • Counties are being asked by the VA to establish effective county-specific websites with links to the wealth of services and information available through the internet.
  • Each county is being asked to compile as complete a list of Korean War veterans as possible, since some federal records were destroyed by fire and there are insufficient state backups.
  • CCAP is supporting a proposal (SB 165) to force PennDOT to add a veterans designation on drivers’ licenses, which would help vets qualify for retail discounts and other benefits, since it would verify veteran status.
  • Sophisticated scam operators are duping veterans into signing up with them to pursue benefits that are readily available with the use of a “middle man.” They’re also soliciting donations through collection kettles or by telemarketing and giving little, if any, of the proceeds to veterans.

Potter County Today is a timely information site courtesy of the Potter County Commissioners. Reprinted with Permission.


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