County VA shines bright

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Local veterans have a strong ally in the San Bernardino County Department of Veterans Affairs. And year after year, the statistics prove that out. In 2019, the County VA served 35,895 veterans and family members. For the year, the department assisted veterans in obtaining $50 million in new or increased benefits – benefits that these veterans earned. That’s the highest amount received by any of California’s 58 counties!

Several years ago, my colleagues on the Board of Supervisors and I made it a priority to find housing for homeless veterans. In 2019, the County VA housed 145 homeless vets. Since 2015, we have housed 1,385 homeless veterans.

You might not know it, but college fees and tuition are waived for children of service members who die on active duty. This allows family members to attend college when they might not otherwise be able to afford the cost. Last year, 1,312 college fee waivers were granted with a value of $6.4 million. On every front, the County VA is excelling. Even lobby wait times continue to decrease, with 95.4 percent of all visitors seen within one hour.

These are remarkable numbers that reveal the dedication of the County VA staff. I’d like to thank our County Veterans Affairs Director Col. Frank Guevara and his entire team for a job well done!

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