Kerr County VSO – Comments to Commissioners Court

As recently reported, Judge Kelly is proposing eliminating county funding for the Kerr County Veterans Services Office. While, in some cases, it may be logical to pressure the State to assume funding for obligations they mandate, the VSO and the access to hard earned benefits Veterans were promised and earned should in no way, shape or form should be considered in discussions of this type. Our VSO provides potentially thousands of Kerr County Veterans much needed assistance to services. Holding this incredibly special group hostage in a bureaucratical “cat fight” with the State over who should pay for this service is a direct afront to our Veterans.

What seems to be lost in this rush for “budget balancing/expense reductions” it that for countless decades, Americans have realized and acknowledged the debt owed those who have served their country in all conditions and circumstances. In recognition, the citizens of the US, through their Congressional representatives, have bequeathed key benefits to assist Veterans and their families and dependents to navigate the rest of their lives. In many, many cases their service created financial, physical, and mental challenges and, yet, access to these benefits is severely encumbered and becomes bogged down in “red tape.”

Sadly, the benefits are mandated by Law, are shrouded in administrative requirements to realize them, and have become a field of landmines surrounded by incredibly burdensome governmental inefficiency. It is at this critical point that the VSO’s are poised to provide otherwise unavailable assistance, guidance and support thus enabling the Veteran and his/her beneficiaries to claim what is rightfully theirs.

Kerr County reaps daily and ongoing benefits from its thousands of Veterans. This upcoming budget cycle should be an opportunity to enhance and streamline support, not seek reasons to reduce them.

Bill White

USMC Vietnam Veteran

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