Court applauds veteran services office

The Grant County Court applauded the work of the Grant County Veteran Services Office under the direction of Katee Hoffman during their July 25 meeting.

County Judge Scott Myers said the court has heard great things about Hoffman’s work at the office since she took over in September 2017.

Commissioner Jim Hamsher said he has spoken to many veterans in the county and never heard a negative comment about Hoffman, only positive things.

Hoffman, a disabled Army veteran, updated the court on the office’s work, including meeting with numerous vets at the office’s new location in the county’s L Building on East Main Street in John Day or at their individual homes.

About 550 veterans are registered with her office, but Hoffman estimates about 1,200 veterans live in Grant County. About 148 veterans came to her office in the previous 90 days, and she met with another 11 at their homes, she said. She travels to Monument the second Tuesday of each month to meet with veterans.

Hoffman also assists with numerous wartime, disability and death benefit claims. The turnaround on claims has improved on average from 18 months to less than four months, she said.

The office recently received a $4,700 grant for suicide prevention efforts. She cited one case where a veteran’s suicidal problems were related to his insufficient retirement income, a problem that was helped by addressing his veteran claims.

Hoffman said she is seeking ideas for how to spend the grant money. Myers noted the grant was entirely discretionary.

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