An Army veteran who graduated from Grant Union High School has been hired as Grant County’s new veteran service officer.

Jeff Wilcox enlisted twice in the Army and once in the National Guard, served during Operation Desert Storm and started in his new role representing and helping county veterans Jan. 9.

“I think he’s going to be great,” Grant County Commissioner Boyd Britton said. “I see a lot of enthusiasm there, and I’m glad to have him and his family come to the community.”

After graduating from Grant Union, Wilcox enlisted in the Army as an infantryman. After basic training at Fort Benning, he was deployed to the Middle East.

Following a two-year enlistment, Wilcox worked on a fire crew and then attended Clackamas Community College, where he studied elementary education.

He then reenlisted with the Army and was assigned to the 24th Infantry. During his three-year enlistment, he attended Army Sniper School and competed in the International Army Sniper Competition.

“I loved it,” Wilcox said of his decision to reenlist, “just the curse of the old green machine.”

After his discharge, he worked in the Grant County Sheriff’s Office and as a rappeller for the Malheur National Forest.

He then joined the National Guard as an active-duty soldier and served for 15 years while based in Redmond. He retired in March 2015.

Since then, he has been traveling and working as a catastrophic insurance adjuster for State Farm. While doing this, he met his fiancée, April Petty, who was also working as an