New home for Veteran’s Service Agency Office in Montgomery County

Shown is the inside of the relocated Veterans Service Agency Office. (The Leader-Herald/Briana O’Hara)

FONDA — Local representatives and veterans celebrated the grand opening of the relocated Veteran’s Service Agency Office on Thursday.

The office, which was previously located at the county annex building on Park Street, is now located at the Montgomery County Office Building which is in the same proximity as the county clerk and the Department of Motor Vehicles which will be convenient for veterans who have other business to attend while in the building and will not require multiple trips.

“The number one goal of this project was to create a veterans office that was more accessible and easier to access for our veterans so they can get the services that they need and are provided in the county,” said Montgomery County Executive Matt Ossenfort.

The Veteran’s Service Agency Office was relocated to improve accessibility for veterans. With this new location, there are designated parking spaces for veterans to use during their visit.

At the new location, there are no steps for veterans to go up or down unlike at the county annex building where they had to go up stairs to get to the veteran’s office.

“So the set up here in the new office, it’s much nicer for the veterans to be able to just come directly in. There’s no steps. We’re right here in close proximity to the entrance, we’ve got parking spots now out here,” said Brenda Rava, executive director of youth and veterans services. “A lot of [veterans] come here that have other business to attend to with the clerk’s office or DMV, so it’s better for them. The other big plus to the new office is they have a waiting area here now inside the office.

Some of the services that the office offers to veterans includes: compensation for service connected disabilities, pension for non-services connected disabilities, compensation to family members for non-service connected deaths, burial benefits, federal grave markers, insurance, home loan guarantees, real property tax exemptions, military records corrections and military medals and awards, blond annuity applications, transportation to the VA Medical Hospital in Albany and the VA clinic in Fonda, and education and vocational rehabilitation.

“Our main goal is to provide benefits for veterans who come from the VA,” said Randy Weaver, director of veterans. “I encourage if you know a veteran who hasn’t been her yet make sure he or she gets here to talk to us.”

By Kerry Minor

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