Veterans Benefits Committee Update September/October 2016

At the Leadership Conference in Tucson, VVA President John Rowan announced the appointment of Kelsey Yoon as the new Director of the Veterans Benefits Department. She will be based at the National Office in Silver Spring. Yoon is a lawyer and formerly the department’s Deputy Director. We welcome her to her new position.

Members of the Veterans Benefits Committee assembled for an impromptu meeting over lunch during the Leadership Conference. The meeting was requested by President Rowan to discuss issues of interest to service officers. It was also an opportunity for committee members to meet with Kelsey Yoon.

The topics of Regional Offices, CVSOs, and scanning documents were chief among the interests of those present. New York State Council President Ned Foote and his Chief Service Officer Sam Hall provided their views on the scanning topic. Foote and Hall are engaging in something new to VVA. Due to the retirement of Service Officer Ben Weiscroth after fifty years, the New York City Service Office will soon be history. The Buffalo Service Office has taken up the slack while the New York office shuts down.

Foote, I might add, plunged head first into the task. He should be commended for taking on a job no one wanted. His efforts in closing down the New York City office will guide others. We can all learn from Foote’s experience if we are willing to listen.

I would also like to mention Marc McCabe, Chief Service Officer, and Jerry Klein, Service Officer and former Chair of the Veterans Benefits Committee, who recently have found themselves in a similar situation in Florida due to retirements. Both men have acted with restraint and care for their fellow veterans while handling a situation in which neither wanted to find himself.

Tom Burke, Chair

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