GEORGETOWN — Veterans in Brown County in need of assistance have a government agency on their side.
The folks at the Brown County Veterans Services office provide many benefits to veterans living in the county, including financial assistance and free transportation to and from the VA hospital in Cincinnati and the VA clinic in Georgetown.
“We administer every week and help the veterans with their bills, mainly food and utility bills, sometimes rent and mortgage,” Veteran Services Director Ralph Fox said from his office about the agency’s financial assistance program.
Fox said that the agency has approximately $350,000 per year that’s spent on financial assistance programs, transportation, and the office. He said that there are approximately 4,000 veterans living in Brown County.
“We get information from the state that a veteran wants us to contact them, but usually the veterans seek us out. They know when they get discharged, they’re told in their outgoing process that the benefits are available, so they usually contact us.”
Veteran Services Board Commissioner Reggie McKenzie agreed.
“We’re that agency that is there when they’re in need,” McKenzie said.
McKenzie, who represents the Disabled American Veterans organization on the commission, said that he wants to see participation in the benefit programs increase. Fox said in his interview that his office works with anywhere from only two to 10 veterans with financial assistance each week.
“What I’d like to see the other vets come in for is other things, like getting them signed up for their benefits and education,” McKenzie said. “We have the GI bill and for certain jobs, they probably have to go to school and that helps out more. The more education a veteran receives, it helps the county out because the smarter the people, the smarter the county.”
Joining McKenzie on the Veterans Service Commission is Kenny Richmond, Ralph Quallen, Roger Carter, and Daniel Otto.
Fox said that if veterans are interested in applying for financial help or benefits, calling the office over the phone would be the best way to get in touch.
The office can be reached at 937-378-3155, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Veterans can also reach out to the Ohio Department of Veterans Services at dvs.ohio.gov or by calling 1-877-OHIO-VET (1-877-644-6838).