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Thurston County News

 

​Questions and inquiries regarding News Release content should be directed to the Thurston County Public Information Officer:

Meghan Porter
360-867-2097

Bryan Dominique
360-867-2091

Tuesday, November 19, 2019
Thurston County says Yes to Vets!

Since 2016, Thurston County has been recognized as a YesVets employer because of its efforts to hire and support veterans. Veterans take skills with them when they leave military service that can be valuable to communities and employers everywhere. Despite this, many veterans still face challenges when it comes time to reintegrate into their communities as civilians.

In addition to the county's veteran hiring efforts, Thurston County offers several other programs that support veterans and their families.

The Thurston County Veterans Employee Resource Group (For county employees)

For veterans who work for the county, the VERG can help. The VERG is a voluntary, employee-led group that serves as a resource to foster a diverse, inclusive workplace and provide support for employees who have an affiliation to the U.S. Armed Forces. This includes veterans, their relatives, and those currently serving in the U.S. Reserves or National Guard.

Through the VERG, veterans or their family members can get assistance in the transition from military culture to county employment and help with professional mentorship. The VERG also identifies and addresses emerging issues and challenges facing veteran employees and family members. Membership in the VERG is open to all county employees who are interested in supporting veterans and the activities of the VERG; prior military service is not a requirement. 

The Veterans Assistance Program (For all veterans) 

The Veterans Assistance Program offers access to an assistance fund for eligible veterans who need help with things like rent, mortgage, utilities, burial, occupational and professional licensing, as well as finding shelter.

To access the fund, a veteran must be a resident of Washington State for at least six months, be able to provide documentation showing that they are a veteran, and be a resident of Thurston County for at least 31 days. Examples of documentation needed to prove eligibility include a DD214, a Washington State driver's license, and a utility or other bill. You can learn more about eligibility and documentation requirements at www.co.thurston.wa.us/health/ssveteran/#Policies.

If you or someone you know is a veteran and might benefit from the Veterans Assistance Program, call (360) 867-8236 to schedule an appointment. 

Veterans Court (For veterans involved in the county law and justice system) 

Veterans Court is an intensively supervised, comprehensive deferral program designed to offer a therapeutic approach to veterans who are struggling with a mental illness and become involved in the county's criminal justice system. Veterans Court is available to defendants who meet specific eligibility criteria including a connection between diagnosis and military service. Other criteria considered is eligibility for Veterans Affairs Healthcare, ability to engage in military or community treatment services, and suitability for assignment to the court.

Veterans Court looks for suitability elements such as a motivation to make lifestyle changes, ability to benefit from mental health treatment, and ability to benefit from the intense supervision and structure of the program. 

Lacey Veterans Hub (For all veterans and their families) 

In addition to these services, there is the Lacey Veterans Hub that provides a wide variety of resources ranging from counseling and employment assistance, to housing, health benefits, disability claims, and education resources. The Veterans Hub aids all veterans and their families in Thurston County. For more information about the Lacey Veterans Hub, visit https://www.laceyveteranshub.org/.


Sometimes at great personal cost, veterans have protected American values and freedoms. These resources are a meaningful way for the Thurston County community to show veterans, active service members, and their families that our community cares about their military service and sacrifice. Thank you to those who have served!

For more information about any of these services, contact Mark Moffett at moffetm@co.thurston.wa.us or call (360) 867-2597.

County Commissioners:

John Hutchings
District 1

Gary Edwards
District 2

Tye Menser
District 3