I was first introduced to the Valley Veterans Service Office while attending a Community Symposium at the local community college. I had just recently relocated to the valley after retiring from public service with the federal government. I am also a 21 year veteran of the US Navy.
I was attending the symposium looking for ways to give back to help our community. It was there that I was introduced to Mike Warner and Dan Griffin, the Veterans Service Officers. Their enthusiasm for what they do was very apparent as they spoke about the various services they offer. They invited me to come to the center for a tour which I took them up on their invitation.
I am very impressed with the ingenuity and creativity these gentlemen have had to show to make the most of the limited resources they have in order to provide quality and compassionate service to our veterans. I was amazed at how many veterans they serve, and that number is increasing weekly as word of mouth is being spread that veterans can get help here. Mike and Dan are a personification of the concept of: "Work smarter, not harder!" Thank you for your service!!!
I cannot express what an outstanding asset the Valley Veterans Service Center is to this community and surrounding communities. In addition to being a veteran myself, I work with veterans on a daily basis and refer anyone who might benefit from their services to them. Not only do they understand the Ins and Outs of navigating the Veterans Administration, but they are a wealth of knowledge when it comes to the resources available to veterans and their families including, but not limited to: housing; food; transportation and mental health.
The two CVSO's Mike and Dan and their staff are welcoming and always have a positive "Can Do" attitude. They work hard to process claims, but they also take the time to listen to each person’s story and build a rapport. They have done an excellent job of creating a safe, trusting environment where veterans can go and build comradery with other veterans. Thank you for the work that you do.
The VVSC is an asset to this county. I've known numerous vets in our community who have used the VVSC to file for well deserved benefits. After some consideration, I went in because I thought my original rating was erroneous. Mike and Dan helped me get my claim submitted the same day. While they made it seem easy, it was a daunting task for me that I probably would not have been able to do without them.
The VVSC and the Ravalli County Veteran Service Officers Mike Warner and Dan Griffin is leading the way into the 21st century with their technological advances in veteran claim processing. Their system is probably 90% digital and paperless.
They have shown great initiative and intuition by partnering with the Missoula Ravalli Transportation Association to provide services to veterans where they live and get them to the services they need.
The use of VA Work Study college students and Trapper Creek Job Corps students for no-cost administrative assistance while giving the students opportunities to gain work experience is a win-win.
The office staff and board of directors has also built strong relationships with the Bitterroot Job Service, Bitterroot College, Sapphire Community Clinic and several local service organizations.
The VVSC is truly a leader in community based veteran services.
I was very honored to be invited on the board for the Valley Veterans Service Center. I have sat on other boards over the years and have never participated in a more well run, efficient, genuine non-profit. As a veteran myself, I know how daunting dealing with the VA can be. Our organization helps veterans navigate the system and obtain much needed and deserved benefits. I am continually amazed by how effective Rob Embree, our one staff member, is in providing assistance to so many veterans in Ravalli County. I've never seen an organization as small as ours provide so much benefit to so many in such a cost effective manner. I'm proud to support this organization.
I have the watched the Valley Veterans Service Center in Hamilton, MT, grow from the idea of a few local vets who wanted to help their fellow veterans in 2006 to a vital local service organization in 2010 with a state and even national reputation for quickly, compassionately and effectively serving veterans who need help of any kind -- from groceries, shelter, or counseling to assistance in accessing much-deserved VA benefits they had, in many cases, hesitated to file or given up on ever receiving. Since its opening in 2006, this rural center in Ravalli County MT, has assisted an average of 9 vets per day five days a week. A few years ago former VA Secretary Peak honored the VVA by naming it a national frontier test site for a evaluating the effectiveness of teleconference technology in addressing the needs of rural veterans. Even more important, VVA volunteers and now a certified claims agent on staff -- all veterans themselves who know the frustrations of working with the VA system all too well -- have doggedly pursued and consistently achieved unusually rapid turn-around times on completion of veterans'claims. This small, committed veterans' service organization has already changed several thousand deserving lives for the better. I am proud to support it.
I was recommended to see if the Valley Veterans Service Center could be of help with hearing problems I have. The staff was very helpful and worked with me on filing paperwork and setting me up with a hearing specialist, and working with responses to the government, and helping me thru the process. Rob and Ron did offer much help and guidance, and were always ready to help me or others I met who came in for various reasons. All of this they did for no charge, and just wanted to help. They also do much for vets with more serious problems or those who may need help in finding financial relief or some that don't have a place to stay, or transportation to medical appointments.
This org is a nonprofit that uses all their donations for VETERANS services and service is the name of the game. They will go to bat with any veteran for his benefits he/she has coming. They will go all the way to Washington to assist and never quit no matter how though it gets. They are the REAL DEAL for veterans. Veterans helping Veterans. I can never give them enough credit.
The Valley Veterans Service Center is a one stop office for all veterans needs. The office has one full time employe, Rob Embree who is a Veterans Claims Agent. Through donations from the local communityu and small grants, the Valleyu Veterans Service Center has helped hundreds of veterans file successful claims with the VA. The office also assisted veterans in obtaining counseling for veterans with PTSD, medical assistance, death benefits for families of veterans, educations benefits and housing.