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Home arrow News arrow Local News arrow Wallowa County receives grant for veterans officer

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Wallowa County receives grant for veterans officer

ENTERPRISE — Wallowa County received $9,612 in funding last week from the Veterans’ Extended Outreach Grant Program to support its veteran service office. The money was part of $600,000 in grants distributed by the 2013 Oregon Legislative Assembly.

This is the first time money has been allocated for a competitive grant to increase outreach to veterans. 

The goals of the grant program are to serve veterans statewide, improve outreach to veterans, inform them of their benefits and file claims on their behalf. 

Wallowa County Commissioner Susan Roberts said the county applied for the grant to offset the pay of its veterans services officer, Linda McIntyre, while she trains her replacement. McIntyre is retiring later this spring.

Veterans Service Officers help veterans receive their benefits, Roberts said. At times, they will go so far as to get power of attorney for a veteran, allowing the officer access to the vets’ records, which expedites the process of filing a claim.

While McIntyre is in the field helping Wallowa County vets, the money will go to hiring a second person to answer the phone and do paperwork, Roberts said. 

“Our VSO is retiring, so the extra funding can help get someone on board and be used, in part, for Linda to train the new officer while he or she gets certified,” Roberts said 

A certified officer can access veteran administration records. Otherwise a veteran will fill out some of the paperwork here and then send it to Salem. With the help of a certified officer, Roberts said, the claim can get processed much easier.

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