Henry County is observing National County Government Month during April. Since the theme is “Serving Our Veterans, Armed Forces and Their Families,” the office of Veterans Assistance Commission (VAC) of Henry County is in this week’s spotlight.
Henry County is observing National County Government Month during April
Since the theme is “Serving Our Veterans, Armed Forces and Their Families,” the office of Veterans Assistance Commission (VAC) of Henry County is in this week’s spotlight.
According to Virgil Johnson, superintendent for the program, the Henry County VAC office coordinated rides for 77 veterans to Iowa City last month alone.
“That’s a total of 5,935 miles round trip just for the month of March,” added Johnson. “It takes a lot of volunteer hours to provide that type of service on a regular basis.”
Johnson and Joan Holt, VAC secretary, man the office every Monday and Tuesday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. each week. Together they coordinate services for the veterans of Henry County. They offer general information regarding rent, food and utilities, while organizing weekly trips to the VA Hospital in Iowa City.
“A veteran may ride for free five days a week if there is a need,” said Johnson. “They also assist in obtaining military records and other forms.”
One of the biggest challenges the Henry County VAC office experiences is the need for more volunteer drivers to transport veterans to Iowa City.
“I’ve seen a lot of volunteers come and go, but we can’t continue this service without the aid of volunteers”, added Johnson. “He sees the VAC office as an important resource to veterans in the county.”
Holt enjoys her work in the VAC office and looks forward to assisting those in need.
“As a resource for our veterans, if we can’t help them directly we know where to send them,” Holt said.
She and Johnson are also able to help local veterans get registered for health care as well as answer questions regarding VA insurance.
They are gearing up for Memorial Day in May, as flags for a veteran’s grave site will be available through their office and local township free of charge. This is something the VAC office handles each year at no cost. About 5,500 flags will be made available for distribution next month for veteran grave sites in Henry County.
For more information, contact Johnson at the Henry County Courthouse, 307 W. Center Street in Cambridge, or call 937-3450 or 3451.