Knox County's only Veterans Service Officer retired Friday, leaving a vacancy in a position that is important to thousands of area residents.
Chuck Jones had served as a Veterans Service Officer for Knox County for more than 20 years. He helped veterans correctly fill out applications so they could receive the federal funds they deserved. In Knox County, there are currently more than 35,000 veterans.
Knox County Veterans Service Office
Nathan Weinbaum, the current veteran service officer for Blount County, worked underneath Jones for four years. He called him a knowledgeable man.
"He worked hard, helped veterans anyway he could," Weinbaum said. "He was very courteous."
Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett is charged with the responsibility of replacing Jones. He told 10News he was not sure of when he would fill the void.
"It has to be a veteran," he said. "Somebody who inherently knows what the folks [veterans] went through and has that sense of heritage."
Campbell County Veterans Affairs
Veterans service officers have busy schedules daily. Scott County Veterans Service Officer Ron Keeton said his work is the difference between whether a veteran makes no money or anywhere up to $3,000.
He said he frequently sees veterans waiting for him outside of his office before he evens gets to work.
"These services are very important, especially to the veterans and their families," Keeton said.
Weinbaum said he knows how demanding the work can be as well. However, he is happy he chose it as his job.
"We have the most important job, because we have to make sure they [veterans] are taken care of," he said.
Colonel Richard Julian will help veterans in Knox County with their questions until Burchett picks Jones' replacement. The Tennessee Department of Veterans Affairs in Knoxville is also available for help as well.
The department's office is located at 601 South Concord, Ste. 108. Their number is (865) 594-6158