From: Jim Lukaszewski
Commander, VFW Post 1287, Winona
I read with particular interest in last Wednesday’s edition of the Post that the County Board will explore several “unpalatable” and “uncomfortable” cuts in order to reduce the amount of the proposed tax levy. Believe me I get that it is difficult to provide reliable and efficient services with limited financial resources. At the same time, I understand one cannot alienate the constituents that they represent. That being said I would like to remind the current and aspiring commissioners of a few things.
Winona County is mandated to have on its staff a Veterans Service Officer (VSO). That VSO should have available to him or her the resources needed to provide assistance securing services for eligible veterans. There are at this time about 3,800 veterans residing in Winona County that are eligible for these services.
The Veterans Service Office is the conduit that connects Winona County veterans with the massive Veterans Administration (VA). Dealing with the VA itself can be complex and time consuming. Resources are needed to achieve positive results, and the staff is one of the most important resources. With almost 4,000 potential clients the workload can reach excessive proportions. Staff at the county Veterans Service Office are doing a remarkable job. The service has been excellent. Trust me. I would be one who would here about any complaints and I have not heard any.
To the present and aspiring commissioners, stay informed, examine the alternatives, ponder the consequences and make a conscious decision regarding staffing at the Veterans Service Office.