CLEARFIELD – The Clearfield County Veterans Affairs Office has been recognized by the state’s Department of Military and Veterans Affairs for being the second most successful statewide in recovering veterans benefits in 2011-12.
The Clearfield County Commissioners presented a “Five Star Service Award” plaque to Veterans Affairs Director Betina Nicklas and Office Manager Lorraine Bauman at Tuesday’s meeting.
“This brings great pleasure to the Clearfield County Commissioners,” said Commissioner Chairman John A. Sobel.
Sobel said the county has a population of 83,000 to 84,000 people. Of that, he said U.S. Census Bureau statistics indicate the county has around 8,400 living veterans.
“That’s a significant part of the population. Taking care of our veterans’ needs is very important for the commissioners,” he said. “The Veterans Affairs office has been doing such a wonderful job and this is such a wonderful accomplishment.”
Veterans Advisory Committee Chairman Don Shaw pointed out that Nicklas had only served as director for 10 months of the accounting period for the claims. He said Nicklas has being doing a “fantastic job,” and Bauman is an asset that the county can ill afford not to have.
“It has been a monumental workforce requirement, and they’re doing a tremendous job,” said Shaw.
Commissioner Joan Robinson-McMillen said they appreciate the Veterans Affairs Office and realize it’ll only become busier with the influx of new veterans returning home. She said it is important to Clearfield County to have an “open office and open ear” to its veterans.
Commissioner Mark B. McCracken said he could include his own family in his appreciation of the Veterans Affairs Office. He said it’s just one way they know how valuable the veterans’ services are. “This is very encouraging to see out of 67 counties. We’re second, but there is one step higher to shoot for,” said McCracken. “But this is very impressive.”