Victoria County Veterans Center is a winner

By Bill Pozzi - Guest Column
May 16, 2017 at 4:51 p.m.
Updated May 17, 2017 at midnight

Bill Pozzi

Bill Pozzi   Contributed Photo for The Victoria Advocate

A couple of years ago, Commissioner Gary Burns promoted the idea of a County Veterans Center, which is now in the Dr. Pattie Dodson Public Health Center building.

I had been to the Federal VA on Laurent Street a number of times and found that facility to be outstanding. Throughout the years, I had been to Navy hospitals and VA centers in the western states and had mixed reviews about their service. The Victoria VA does a great job, and the proof is in how well I was taken care of.

I asked Gary Burns why we needed a county veterans center in Victoria. He told me that the services supplied at the county level would complement the ones supplied by the federal government.

I started working as a volunteer in the Victoria County Veterans Center, and I could not believe how well it is run. Mary Ann Adam is the head of the facility, and she does a great job. There are many veterans who have never used the benefits they are eligible for from the VA; they do not know where to start to search, or perhaps they were intimidated by the system. The Victoria County Veterans Center guides the veterans to the benefits they are entitled to and how to obtain them.

Let me give an example. We had a soldier who had fought in World War II, who was in artillery and was hard of hearing for the last 30 years. The county center wrote up his claim, and after a number of months, he became eligible for hearing aids through the federal government.

The beauty of the center is that although there is only one county employee, there are a number of well-qualified volunteers who work there.

The Texas Veteran Commission supplies a staffer two days a week, the Disabled American Veterans (DAV) has a volunteer who writes up claims four days a week and there is a staffer who works on a grant that deals with female veterans five days a week.

I did not think there would be many people in Victoria County who would use this center, but I was wrong. Each department handles their area of expertise, gives people a lot of time to discuss their problems and dispenses accurate information to everyone.

In my particular case, I was hurt in the Iraq War and had a chronic problem regarding my feet. The DAV worked with me during a 12-month period and helped to minimize my problem. I have often been disappointed in dealing with the federal bureaucracy, but in dealing with the Victoria County Veterans Center, I have been pleasantly surprised with their ability to solve problems.

Alas, Mary Ann Adam is leaving, but a new person is going to be hired. Commissioner Burns and Commissioner Garcia had the foresight to establish this office. It is efficient, economical to operate and really does a service for Victoria County Veterans. I am glad that my initial assessment was wrong; this facility is a winner.

Victoria tax dollars are well spent on the Victoria County Veterans Center.

Bill Pozzi is the Victoria County Republican Party chairman and a community volunteer. He served in the Vietnam and Iraq Wars as a Navy Seal. He may be emailed at billvgop@gmail.com.


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