Shiawassee County veterans affairs workers help 5,000 with life’s needs

Published: Mar. 3, 2021 at 6:53 PM EST
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SHIAWASSEE COUNTY, Mich. (WJRT) - Shiawassee County is home to approximately 5,000 U.S. veterans from all branches of the military.

That means the county helps a lot of people who have fought for our freedom with a lot of needs. The director of the Shiawassee County Veterans Affairs Department said his staff play a vital role in the community.

The Shiawassee County Department of Veterans Affairs and Services is a small office tasked with big needs from thousands of veterans across the county.

“If you’ve got an injury you’d like to file a claim for, you can come into our office and we’ve got veterans service officers that we can match you up with in order to go through that process,” said Mike Reeve, a 27-year U.S. Army veteran who runs the office for Shiawassee County.

He runs a tight ship in making sure the roughly 5,000 veterans in the county are taken care of. In fact, the department has helped veterans claim more than $1 million in back pay benefits.

The county offers a wide range of services from helping veterans with their financial benefits and medical benefits to job placement assistance and even housing services.

“Our program is around 14 days, so depending upon where you fit for either war time or peace time, we can assist that individual and connect them with some resources here in the county to get them off the streets,” Reeve said.

During his tenure as director, Shiawassee County’s veterans department has helped more than a dozen veterans find a permanent place to live. The department is also in the beginning stages of developing a veterans treatment court to provide legal support and resources for veterans who have run-ins with the law.

“It’s a great feeling,” Reeve said. “I’ve been here three years. Absolutely love the job, love the veterans.”

He wants to make sure each and every veteran gets that same amount of love, respect and compassion from others.

“The greatest need is to be able to listen to that veteran without passing any type of judgment of where they’ve been, what their story is and then piece together the facts of what they need,” Reeve said.

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