Schweitzer-Betz was officially appointed to the position beginning January 7th although she has been in the position as temporary help since mid October. She served two years as a combat medic in the Army and had been volunteering in the St. Joe County Veterans Service Office.
From September 18 to December 31, 2012 a total of 306 personal interviews were held in the Marshall County office. This January alone she conducted 129 personal interviews, filed 50 claims and applications, conducted 25 out of office interviews, and traveled 61 miles. Schweitzer-Betz noted that assisting a veteran in filing a claim may take an hour or two depending if they have all the required paperwork. She also said the forms are complicated and require understanding the red-tape.
Schweitzer-Betz said that the 2011 census said there are about 3500 veterans living in Marshall County. She said there are roughly 2250 files in her office that need to be gone through and purged. She noted that she has been working with difficulties that occurred with the previous Veterans Service Officers and correcting some issues that occurred, many with claims not being filed, some for more than a year.
The commissioners will send a recommendation to the County Council verify the position to be full time with benefits. Commissioner Jack Roose has been trying to assist her in organizing the office and will attend the Council meeting in support of adding benefits to her full time position.