“We are a general one-stop-shop for anyone needing help understanding the VA system!,” said Laura (Spain) Clark, Wise County Veteran Service Officer (VSO).
For veterans in any county, Clark encourages them to “make an appointment at your local County or State Service Office and ask all of those hard questions! In VA, there are no dumb questions!”
She should know. Clark has been the Wise County VSO for over 14 years. Prior to that she served in the U.S. Navy for 20 years before retiring.
Among the services provided by the Wise County Veteran Service Office are Claims and Pension assistance for veterans and their dependents, educational and employment guidance, and help with VA health care issues and enrollment. A local resource hub, the office also provides assistance to homeless and poverty-stricken veterans.
Clark advises people to prepare for their first visit with the VSO by talking with other veterans who have gone through the process and bringing all supporting documents needed so that claims are successful on the first filing. Among documents regularly needed are the DD214, proof of dependents, supporting medical records and direct deposit banking information.
Beyond their office setting, the Wise County VSO team is active in their community. “We have assisted with local food drives, county outreach programs and other areas where you might encounter veterans. We are actively involved in national organizations including membership in the American Legion, Disabled American Veterans and the Veterans of Foreign Wars,” said Clark. “Everyone in our office has their own specialty and we are always available to give presentations.”
Pictured is the Wise County VSO team, clockwise from left, Kayla Jones, Admin. Assistant; Blake Walls, Assistant VSO; Terri Meeks, Assistant VSO and VSO Laura (Spain) Clark.