The Franklin County Commission Tuesday appointed a volunteer to help oversee the needs of local veterans.
Michael Pate has been named veterans assistance coordinator, and he says his goal is to help veterans get back on their feet after serving the country.
Whether it’s helping the veterans with medical paperwork through the Veterans Administration or assisting them in the job market, Pate said his office will be there to lend a hand.
“We’re going to work real hard to try to help these folks get through these things,” he said. “We’re going to use all the volunteers we can.”
Pate said he wants it to be a one-stop shop for veterans’ needs, adding that he will keep an office in the Hall of Honor museum in the old courthouse in Union.
The commission also appointed Robert Bruton assistant coordinator.
“What we’re putting together is people and resources to aid our veterans (and) veterans families in the community,” Pate said.
The goal is to create a better community and better future for Franklin County veterans, he said.
Pate hopes to have help from healthcare facilities and veterans service organizations such as the VFW and American Legion as well as the Lions Club and Rotary Club.
He wants to reach out to active duty military units to let them know there is help once they get back home.
Pate also plans to work with the education system to get the veterans the job training they need to enter the work force.
“My long-term goal is to see that we have a regional veterans training center,” he said.
Presiding Commissioner John Griesheimer said he cannot think of anyone better than Pate for the position.
Griesheimer noted that Pate came up with the idea to create the veterans assistance coordinator.
“I think it’s a tremendous asset for Franklin County to be doing this,” Griesheimer said.