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Local Veterans Ask For Full-Time Service Officer

By Mike Barnhardt
Enterprise Record

County commissioners held a town hall meeting to discuss recreation on Monday evening. They heard plenty about the needs for more fields and programs.
But they also heard from veterans who say they need a full-time veterans service officer, a job cut by commissioners during the budget process in the spring, about the same time the then current full-time officer had left the job.
“We hear you loud and clear,” said board chair, Mark Jones. “We’ll take care of this position. We’re going to handle this.”
The board introduced David Speer as the new veterans service officer. He is working 20 hours a week as budgeted. Commissioners will consider increasing that to 30 hours when they meet on Nov. 7. It still wouldn’t be a full-time job, but the office would be staffed five days a week.
Some of the veterans say that isn’t enough.
Ronnie Cox of Mocksville said the 4,000 or so veterans and their families received some $5.8 million in benefits in 2009, partly because of a full-time officer. Now, they see veterans who can’t find a job. There are veterans whose families can’t afford a decent …