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Friday, November 8, 2013

Mission: Let’s Make Every Day Veterans Day

Mission: Let’s Make Every Day Veterans Day

willworthington222By Will Worthington, Potter County Director of Veterans Affairs

Monday, Nov. 11, is Veterans Day. But to a wide network of public officials, volunteers and other dedicated Americans, EVERY day is Veterans Day. Like so many who have entered military service over the years, they go about their business each day without any expectation of personal gain or even a pat on the back. It’s all about the mission.

This year, please think of Veterans Day as more than an excuse for a three-day weekend or a shopping trip for the latest bargains. Please consider our debt to those who have given so much of themselves for our nation and to those who continue to serve. Upwards of 50 million brave Americans have worn our nation’s uniform, from the War for Independence to the current conflicts in the Middle East. More than 1.1 million of them sacrificed their lives. There are some 23 million veterans in this country. Three-quarters of them served during time of war. All of them deserve our gratitude.

I have had the honor for more than a year to serve as director of veterans affairs in Potter County. I’m just one part of a team that includes dedicated elected officials, officers of our veterans service organizations, and many others. Our team in Potter County has signed on to a national partnership to look out for the veterans on an individualized, one-on-one basis.

veterans_day_2013_smallNot long ago, media accounts, lawsuits and some high-profile examples of mismanagement and poor service brought the VA under close scrutiny. That bright spotlight revealed shortcomings that needed to be addressed through greater accountability and additional funding. As we approach Veterans Day 2013, the good news is that considerable progress is being made. County veterans affairs directors are playing a critical role in the VA’s mission to provide America’s veterans with timely access to benefits and quality care — from the day they first take their oaths of allegiance until the day they are laid to rest. Backlogs in review of veterans health care benefit claims have been coming down and streamlined systems are in place to continue that trend, even as the VA faces unprecedented demand for services.

In Potter County, we have expanded on previous outreach efforts, launched a new veterans newsletter, and partnered with other organizations to improve services. One success story is the recent expansion of the VA Medical Clinic at Mapleview, in partnership with the Bath (N.Y.) VA Medical Center.

Please take the time on Monday to thank those veterans you see for their service. If you are aware of a veteran who needs help, please call 814-274-8290, ext. 210, or send email to wworthington@pottercountypa.net. We take seriously our commitment to meet the responsibilities and challenges of providing Potter County’s veterans the best care and service possible. It’s more than a duty; it is a privilege.

5 comments :

Anonymous said...

This proud veteran appreciates the great job you and Commissioner Heimel are doing. Thank you very much.
Mike Fowler
Austin, PA

Anonymous said...

Very thought provoking essay. Thanks to Will and to the County Commissioners in Potter County. I like your comment about not serving for a pat on the back but instead serving for the mission of helping others. I remember you, from the Coudersport Post Office, Will. Always a smile and excellent service. Thanks to you and Paul and to everyone else who really cares about our veterans.

Anonymous said...

THANK YOU to ALL who Served and are Serving...Sincere Thanks to Will Worthingtong for his CARE and Concern for Our Veterans...It is a Real Shame that our gov. is turning their backs on these Deserving Men and Women...United WE Stand !!!

Tim Cole said...

Keep up he good work!

Anonymous said...

I agree Will always made going to the Post Office an enjoyable experience, its not so much anymore. But I am Glad he is the one helping our Veterans. Thank You and Great Job Will.