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Veterans Service Office is a resource for vets

Shellie Shaw, the Taylor County Veteran’s Service Offi cer, along with Nikki Sherman, Veteran’s Benefit specialist, represent Taylor county Veterans in obtaining benefits that they may be eligible for according to the Veterans Affair (VA).

With there being over 2,000 veterans in Taylor County alone, the office helps numerous individuals on a daily basis. Some examples of how the Veteran’s Officer helps veterans are if the individual hurt themselves, while in the line of duty, Shaw’s job is to develop that person’s claim. She assists in guiding the veteran in what documents they need to accumulate to help her start that claim. So the individual would have to go to the doctor to get a diagnosis, need to get medical records stating that this happened in active duty, and not 10 years later at home somewhere. Service call records are also needed to get VA paperwork started.

VA paperwork can begin when they prove that they are entitled to benefits for service connected disability. The start of the paperwork is to have their DD214 (discharge papers) paperwork with them. Once that is proved, the filing process can begin. Once that is complete, the VA will give them a certain percentage of a rating to which benefits they are entitled to. After the paperwork is started, within 30 days, it has to filed.

Some events that the office does annually to get the word out about their services are Veteran’s Outreach Day, to connect them to the services that are available to them. Another part is getting donations for unmet needs that the veterans may have.

Veteran’s Service Office focuses on serving the needs of veterans. Active military personnel have other resources available.

Veterans with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), must go through traumatic reliving of their experiences to prove that they have this disorder to qualify for their benefi ts. Getting to the root of the problem opens doors for them so they can also be referred to a counselor.

Shaw stated “The best part of my job is seeing veterans thriving as an adult when they made the decision to enlist and they were just a kid.”

An anonymous donor, who is not a veteran, makes flag cases and donates them to families who have lost their loved ones in service.

Arnold Koeppe, a Vietnam veteran, said “These girls have helped me out so much with getting hearing aids and a driver’s license, they help me so much and they are the best of the best! I can’t say enough good things about them.”