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State Dept. of Veterans Director visits Harrison County

Updated: Wednesday, April 30 2014, 06:37 PM EDT
HARRISON COUNTY, Ohio – Harrison County Veterans Services got a special visit Wednesday from some state officials who dropped in to see how veterans were being served in Harrison County and what could be done to improve their experience.
After being appointed the Director of Ohio Department of Veterans Services in November, Tim Gorrell has been on a tour to introduce himself to each veterans service office in the state.
The goal is to better connect the offices with the state level and receive feedback on how they can service veterans in the area.
For each of the 88 counties in Ohio, there is a Veterans Service Office designed to tend to the needs of the veterans.
“Ohio is unique because there's no other state in the country that has this type of system,” Gorrell said.
Gorrell spoke with local leaders and learned how they service their veterans. Some of the key topics of discussion were opportunities available to veterans in the area.
“Economic opportunities are different, education opportunities are different, access to medical care is different,” Gorrell said.
The ability for local officials to convey their concerns and programs directly to a representative from the state level avoids a message getting lost in translation.
“If we think something is broken, we're able to actually talk to the guy who can influence it the most,” Veterans Service Officer Eugene Randolph said.
And with 1,800 veterans in Harrison County -- and each requiring tailor made assistance -- Gorrell said the hand-shake help is the best way to provide it to them.
“If we tried to do this from Columbus, or if we tried to regionalize it, while it would be very challenging,” Gorrell said, “I think we would lose a lot of the local personal touch.
“Who better knows, in the case here in Harrison County than Harrison County leaders.”
Gorrell will continue his tour through each of the 88 counties in the state.
Randolph also stressed that having veterans that have served in the military in positions at the office also allows for the best access for the veterans.

State Dept. of Veterans Director visits Harrison County

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