Chatham County Announces New Veterans Service Officer
David J. Kennedy started as Chatham County’s veteran services officer on January 9, 2018. He will counsel and educate veterans, their dependents and survivors on potential benefits available through the Department of Veterans Affairs, State of North Carolina and Chatham County resources.
“We are thrilled that David has joined us in this important role. Some veterans will already know him, because he once provided these same services in Chatham when he worked for the NC Division of Veterans Affairs. He worked there for nearly 40 years until he retired in 2013,” said County Manager Renee Paschal. “David also served in the US Navy early in his career.”
State budget cuts over the past 10 years led to the closure of the Durham office where Kennedy had been based and also led to reduced hours provided by state-funded veteran services hours. The result is that most counties have opted to hire their own veteran services officers.
Kennedy replaces the first Chatham County veteran services officer, who had to leave unexpectedly due to a family work situation.
Kennedy will work 20 hours a week and will meet with veterans in both Pittsboro and Siler City. It is best to call or email him in advance for appointments since Kennedy will be attending trainings or may be out helping veterans over the next few weeks. Generally, he will be working 8 AM to 5 PM on Tuesdays and Wednesdays and mornings on Thursday. Here are the meeting locations:
- Pittsboro (main office): 964 East Street, Suite 209, above over the Greek Kouzina restaurant. The facility has an elevator to the second floor offices on the far left side.
- Siler City: Western Chatham Senior Center, 112 Village Lake Road. He generally will be in Siler City on Wednesdays from 10 am to 2 pm, but call if you need other times.
To make appointments, contact Kennedy at 919-545-8334, 919-357-4999 (mobile), or firstname.lastname@example.org
Kennedy said, “I am happy to be working in Chatham County again and look forward to assisting the veterans and their families in obtaining benefits from the VA and in offering any information and assistance that might be available from the State and Chatham County. It’s nice to be part of this community again.”
The veteran services role includes helping vets and survivors with preparing all applications for an array of benefits. This includes health care, home purchases, education, insurance, disability income, pensions for war-time veterans and burial in national cemeteries. Kennedy also will refer veterans to other agencies for specific needs, such as legal, civilian life integration, job placement, and housing.
A native of Thomasville, NC, Kennedy received a B.A. from NC State University before enlisting in the U.S. Navy. In the Navy, he had an array of yeoman and administrative duties, including serving as key staff to the communications officer for NATO. After leavening the service, he worked briefly at the NC Employment Security Commission in Raleigh before joining the NC Division of Veterans Affairs in 1974. At retirement, Kennedy was awarded the Order of the Long Leaf Pine, one of the most prestigious awards presented by the North Carolina Governor to recognize extraordinary service to the state.