To the Editor:

This letter is in reference to your article on County Service Officer (Bell County to hire veterans service officer, Nov. 13 KDH).

Disabled American Veterans Chapter 29 in Harker Heights has five trained service officers, two of whom are certified from the Texas Veterans Commission.

The service officers are available four days a week — from 8 a.m. to noon Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday.

They are trained annually by a national service officer from Waco and just wanted to let every one know there are service officers available to help with claims.

These chapter service officers have been doing this for many years and are well trained and here to help.

James Thompson Sr.


(3) comments

Mamma Griz

"Texas Veterans Commission claims and benefits counselors are located in VA Regional Offices, VA medical facilities, VA clinics, and military installations throughout the State". And in VA vet centers. At least in the Killeen Heights Vet Center-- and I bet in other vet centers in Texas. He works five days a week.

And then I can't forget Willie Browning. She is a volunteer service officer representing many veterans organizations. She works three mornings a week.


Awesome data.

Most American Legion and VFW posts have service officers as well. Contacting them for assistance is a good idea. The American Legion was recently recognized for its claims processing assistance.

I am available for immediate appointment in Bell county.


There are also officers at the VA Hospital in Temple.
One is there that represents the state of Texas. These people I have observed were the best in claims. They work under the Texas Veterans Commission.

Claims Representation and Counseling
The Texas Veterans Commission serves veterans, their dependents and survivors, in all matters pertaining to veterans' disability benefits and rights. It is the designated agency of the State of Texas to represent the State and its veterans before the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). The agency represents veterans in filing VA disability claims and during VA appeals processes, and assists dependents with survivor benefits.

The State of Texas leads all other large states in monetary recovery of veterans’ compensation and pension benefits. More than $1.5 billion in compensation and pension is distributed each year to Texas veterans and eligible surviving family members represented by the Texas Veterans Commission.

Expert Counselors
The Texas Veterans Commission is nationally recognized for its expertise in helping veterans get the most benefits they are entitled to. The agency has more than 75 claims counselors accredited by the VA to represent veterans with disability claims and appeals. Counselors also help veterans and their families with questions regarding benefits, survivor and dependent needs, filling out VA paperwork, and medical issues.

Where We Are Located
The largest concentration of veterans live near the major cities of Houston, San Antonio, Dallas, Ft. Worth, Austin, El Paso and the Rio Grande Valley. In order to assist these veterans, Texas Veterans Commission claims and benefits counselors are located in VA Regional Offices, VA medical facilities, VA clinics, and military installations throughout the State.

There should have been one available to veterans in the county already according to an article (below) which ran in the Statesmen Nov 12th 2013.
(there is a larger article on this subject in the Austin Statesmen newspaper)

Why there wasn't, county officials should be ask that question .

It just makes good sense with Bell County having such a large population of veterans in the area. And with so many of those veterans having been in a war zone in the last years, naturally, anyone would have to know, you're going to have a large number of military members who have a disability and needing assistance with filing claims.

Bell County to comply with state law, hire veterans service officer

Updated: 9:42 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 12, 2013

By Jeremy Schwartz - American-Statesman Staff

Bell County, home to Fort Hood and one of the largest populations of veterans in Texas, finally appears ready to comply with state law and hire a veterans county service officer, officials said Tuesday.

Such service officers help veterans file disability claims and advocate on their behalf, but last month the American-Statesman reported that Bell County is the only county not to follow a state law requiring it to employ a full-time veterans service officer or fund a veterans service office. The Legislature in 1987 passed a law requiring counties with more than 200,000 residents to employ a full-time service officer.

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.