To the editor:

Veterans Service Officer’s (VSO) in Northeast Indiana are a close-knit team united in assisting our veterans and their families with receiving their VA benefits. There is no competition between county VSOs. All of us work together to provide great VSO service to our veterans. We routinely call, meet, and email each other to collaborate on our veterans' needs. We are a brotherhood/sisterhood which I was blessed to be a part of.

Allen Connelly (LaGrange County), Alex Dobson (Steuben County), Mike Clouse (Noble County) and Joe Wasson (Allen County) are all friends and served as mentors to me during my time in the DeKalb County VSO position. I relied heavily on their years of experience and I owe each of them a debt of gratitude and thank you for supporting me in the DeKalb County VSO office. All of them are top-notch VSOs and they certainly don’t need the likes of me to confirm that.

In my opinion, there were a few KPC articles in the past few months that portrayed our offices may compete, rather than work together or that one VSO office is better than another. This couldn’t be further from the truth. All NE Indiana VSOs work tirelessly, and many more hours than our contracts require, to assist all NE Indian veterans/families regardless of the counties they may reside in.

We are blessed in DeKalb County to have Commissioners and a County Council that are committed to providing all needed resources for our DeKalb County veterans. Commissioners and County Council past and present have routinely expanded VSO services and capabilities in DeKalb County and in my opinion, they’ve provided a model example for how VSO offices can and should be resourced. I am honored to have worked for Commissioners and County Council that are passionate about supporting our Veterans.

Finally, the good Lord provided me an opportunity to become an educator where I get the chance to lead, teach and mentor young kids on a daily basis. This info was left out of the latest VSO article on the front page of The Star. Five months ago, I had no idea this once in a lifetime opportunity would present itself nor was I looking for the opportunity. However, God led me down this path and while I’ll miss serving the veterans/their families in NE Indiana, I am extremely excited to be shaping the future of our youth. I’ve been blessed to live a life of service to country and community and I look forward to continuing my service as an educator.

That being said, I will not be a stranger to veterans' support as my non-profit (High N Tight Lawn Care) will continue to provide free lawn mowing/snow removal services to disabled/elderly NE Indiana Veterans or their surviving spouses. This is written with deep respect.

Travis Holcomb

DeKalb County Deputy VSO/Outreach Coordinator.

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