In honor of Veterans Day, Delaware County rededicated its Delaware County Veterans Affairs Department office, now located on the ground floor of the Government Center in Media.
The office will feature, military displays, upgraded veteran affairs services and outreach established to help veterans access benefits and programs to which they are entitled.
The Veterans Affairs Department has been enhanced with a new computer management system, a new outreach liaison, a redesigned website and a display of historic military items.
“We have introduced a Veterans Information Management System, to assist veterans,” said county council chairman Jack Whelan. “The VIMS system helps us maintain vital information of veteran clients, preparing computer-generated forms, extracting data to assist in filing claims and other forms, tracking actions and maintaining data.”
An upgrade of the County’s veteran’s website provides links for county, state and federal programs, information about other programs and links for forms and publications. The Veterans Affairs webpage can be accessed on the Delaware County website. Veterans outreach seminars are also being conducted by the new Veterans Affairs liaison, Ralph Galati, a Vietnam veteran and former Prisoner of War.
The Veterans Affairs Office features a display of articles on loan from the Pennsylvania Veterans Museum in Media. Items on display date from as far back as the Spanish-American War of 1898 and includes World Wars I and II, Korea, Vietnam and up to the present time.
Also on display in the lobby is Armed Services Tribute Board which features photographs of Delaware County residents who are currently serving in hostile areas in the world such as Iraq and Afghanistan.
“Any visitor who enters the Government Center lobby is greeted by these tributes to those serving in the military today and to those who served in all our nation’s wars, even those remembered only in history,” Whelan said.
In addition to the new office, Delaware County is also building on the Veteran Justice Initiative. The initiative mission is to connect veterans with treatment and support services through public and private resources, including the county Office of Human Services and the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs.
“We are seeing that veteran’s face a number of challenges and combat-related illnesses when they come home from the chaos and dangers of combat,” Whelan said. “We want to take a proactive approach with a specialized treatment court that can better meet the needs of our veterans.
“We are grateful to our veterans for putting their lives on the line to protect the liberties we enjoy here at home and it is important for us to connect veterans with the treatment and support services they might need in all areas, including criminal justice,” he added. “There are benefits to the individual and to the community in improving lives and reducing criminal costs.”