Franklin County commissioners Tuesday approved a $100-per year lease with a local veterans advocacy group to open an office in the historic courthouse in downtown Union.
Movet Advocacy LLC will operate an office on the first floor of the courthouse in what is currently the county’s Veterans Hall of Honor.
Commissioner Ann Schroeder said the county wanted to establish a single location where veterans could get all the information they need regarding benefits, education and work opportunities and more.
Mike Pate, Movet Advocacy manager, said the office will be a big step forward.
“We have a major chance here to set the standard of taking care of the roughly 2 million veterans we have returning home,” Pate said. “We’ve got to…set the standard and show what we can do.”
Schroeder noted the county will see a benefit from the lease agreement too, as the Hall of Honor will be staffed.
According to the lease, the office will be used solely “to assisting veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces with acquiring benefits to which veterans are entitled or assisting such veterans with other physical or emotional needs.”
Another local nonprofit, Franklin County Honor Flight, will have information available at the new veterans office.
Pate said he hopes to display photos taken on some of the Honor Flight trips to Washington, D.C.
He said establishing the facility in the courthouse “shows how much this county cares.
“There are 487,425 veterans in the state of Missouri. That’s a tremendous voice,” Pate said. “We’ve got a chance to do something here.”
County Counselor Mark Vincent and Pate said they’ve also been looking into having the county form official affiliations with active duty military units.
Pate said doing so would be a way for the county to show, on an ongoing basis, the community’s involvement in the trials and tribulations of active military personnel.
“Every generation, from those who fought at Lexington and Concord to those fighting in (Afghanistan) today, they’re part of the greatest generation,” Pate said. “We’ve had a 250-year long generation of veterans who pay the price and sacrifice, some making the ultimate sacrifice, for our country.”