Montgomery County’s new Veterans Service Officer Joe Ellis is on a mission.
“I want veterans to know who they can contact with their concerns,” he said.
Ellis recently took over the part-time position from Claude Johnson, and has moved into a newly created office space at the County Office Building, 110 W. South Blvd., Crawfordsville.
The job may be part-time, but Ellis isn’t treating it as such.
“All the files have been moved and the computer is there,” he said.
He plans to make appointments Monday through Friday at the new office, which is conveniently located in the one-story building and is easily accessible. However, Ellis is equally willing to travel to a veteran’s home if needed.
All counties in the state of Indiana employ a CVSO. These veterans stand ready to help others with their veteran-related needs. A CVSO has all the forms and other information needed to obtain services from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs as well as the forms needed for requesting state veterans’ benefits.
“There are many benefits and services available to eligible veterans,” he said. “It’s my job to help them get those benefits and services.”
Ellis has reached out to other CVSOs for advice and guidance.
“There’s quite a bit to learn,” he said.
Ellis admits there is a lot of paperwork involved, but he is comfortable with the workload and is computer literate after retiring from Ace Hardware Corp. as a district manager for 22 years. He also spent 13 years with Do It Best Corp.
He also is familiar with the needs of military men, women and their families.
His father served in the Army during World War II and was at the Battle of the Bulge and a Prisoner of War. Ellis himself served three years in the Army from July 1968 to July 1971. He served 28 months in Vietnam.
“I am excited about working with individual veterans with their particular situation,” he said.
He estimates there are 3,500 veterans in the county.
Ellis can be reached in the County Office Building, 110 W. South Blvd., Crawfordsville, IN 47933; by email at firstname.lastname@example.org; by landline telephone at 361-4133; or by cellphone at 765-401-0432.