Veterans Affairs Canada Welcomes New Duty Officer | Local news
The Walker County Department of Veterans Affairs is welcoming a new era in providing assistance to the military, taking over from Veterans Services Officer to Local Chief, Bob Kane.
Kane is commonly known as a fixture in the community for his volunteer work with the HEARTS Veterans Museum in Huntsville. He also serves with the Boy Scouts of America as commissioner for all Huntsville units, deputy district commissioner for the Arrowmoon district, and chapter advisor for the Arrowmoon chapter of the Order of the Arrow. Now he can add the Walker County Veterans Services Officer title to his resume.
Kane was selected for the post by Judge Danny Pierce, and was approved by the Court of Commissioners on December 6, taking office the next day.
Veterans Affairs Canada has been in Huntsville since 1961, helping to reduce the stress of navigating the complexities of life after release from service. As a Service Officer, Kane will be responsible for helping fellow veterans file claims for benefits, obtain medical records and make changes, apply for temporary housing, receive benefits from disability, organize life insurance and memorials, as well as provide benefits for family members.
“I’ve been helping people since I joined the Navy in 1972 and haven’t stopped yet,” Kane said with a smile.
Kane is a 21-year retired Navy veteran, serving his country from August 1972 to August 1993. He started out as a dental technician and obtained medical certification in the field. He was then assigned to the Marine Corps and served with the Fleet Marines on two different missions, from 1982 to 1984 at Camp Lejeune and from 1984 to 1985 in Okinawa in the 3rd Dental Battalion as administrative chief.
He returned to the Marines in May 1990 at the 22nd Dental Company, as a listed senior advisor for the entire company during the launch of Desert Shield. From there he joined General Charles Krulak’s staff to be part of the health services support element as part of his G-3 operations for Desert Shield and Desert Storm.
Upon returning to his country in June 1991, he picked up where he left off in the 22nd Dental Company and remained there until his retirement in 1993.
“When I retired in 1993, I did not receive information on all of the VA benefits I was eligible for and had to learn on my own,” Kane said. “A lot of our veterans weren’t getting this information either, a lot of them think they don’t deserve it, as my wife felt she didn’t deserve to be called a veteran, but if you’ve served, you have the right to benefits.
Kane’s wife was also a veteran, having served four years at the end of the Vietnam War, followed by six years in the U.S. Army Reserve, though she never filed a case for her own. advantages.
“She was just doing what she felt was necessary, she didn’t really feel the need to play the veteran card,” Kane said.
It wasn’t until his wife passed away that Kane began to encounter his first minor walls by filing his own claims with the VA. When he tried to seek help from Veterans Services, Kane notes that he was unable to get in touch with his predecessor, letting him pass through disabled American veterans to apply for his benefits. Kane notes that he was able to get his hearing aids, however, his other requests remained pending review.
He is not alone, many veterans have expressed frustration over the lack of help from Veterans Affairs in Walker County, which has led to tensions between the two sides.
“There’s a mistrust of the VA because it’s a long, drawn-out process, it’s like any bureaucratic process you go through. You hurry, you do everything, then you have to sit down and wait, ”Kane said. “The frustration is understandable, but there is a process that they have to go through in their review of everything, so it’s long, it’s frustrating, but with someone here to help get through that process, I think it will be a little easier for our veterans to go through this.
In August, Kane approached the Commissioners’ Tribunal to draw attention to the trials he had experienced as a local veteran trying to access his benefits and the case was investigated. . When the former service officer retired, Kane applied for the job.
“I felt like someone needed to come in here and start helping take care of our veterans,” he said. “I told myself that with my experience in the health field and investigating with TDCJ in the health field, I felt this was the place for me. “
After retiring from the Navy, Kane worked for a medic at Tyler, followed by a long career with the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, where he began as a medical records clerk at Goree Unit in 1994. In 1997, he became an investigator. for the Patient Liaison Program, which provided a means for inmates, their families, third party advocates and the legislature to lodge complaints about the health care of offenders. After three years, he became the regional program supervisor, managing the entire southern half of the state.
Now he is determined to rebuild the link between Veterans Affairs Canada and the community.
“It’s going to be a whole series of things that I can access, so that I can help our local veterans with their needs,” Kane said. “I have a passion for taking care of my fellow veterans. I am ready to learn the job and do the job for them.