Skip to content Skip to left sidebar Skip to right sidebar Skip to footer

County veterans service officer to begin June 1

Jerry Story has been named Washington County’s first veterans service officer, and he plans to hit the ground running.
“It’s something of a passion of mine,” he said. “I’m a veteran myself, and I’ve gone through the hassles of trying to get benefits.”
Story served four years in the United States Air Force during the Vietnam War, and was located in the Philippine Islands during one year of that time. He was honorably discharged as a sergeant.
Currently serving as assistant principal at Gray School, he will retire next month after 35 years as a teacher, coach and administrator with the Washington County and Greeneville school systems.
He will turn his attention to the more than 10,000 veterans living in Washington County on Monday, June 1.
Story said he had been looking for a post-retirement opportunity, and believes the VSO will play a needed role in the county.
“When I learned of this position, I thought it would be good to have someone local to offer assistance, and not only to veterans but their families also,” he said.
Commissioner Gary McAllister led the Search Committee made up of Mike Johnson, retired Army and senior instructor with the Science Hill High School ROTC program; Harry Gibson, longtime National Guard member; Alan Jackson, retired Air Force; and Brenda Barnette, former government employee and spouse of a military veteran.
Committee members reviewed the 12 applications and interviewed their top four candidates. Two recommendations were then forwarded to Mayor Dan Eldridge who made the final selection.
Eldridge said Story is an excellent communicator and possesses unique human interaction skills that will be invaluable in developing relationships and gaining the confidence of those he will serve.
“Jerry also demonstrated the ability to be creative in developing and effectively managing the outreach programs of this department.”
According to Story, he will begin forming a strategy by getting all of the agencies that provide services to veterans onboard to help identify areas of overlap. His office will be located on the second floor of the downtown courthouse.
Given the effectiveness of the committee that was assembled to review the candidates, Eldridge asked McAllister to solicit the long-term involvement of the members on a permanent Veterans Services Committee. The committee will provide input and feedback to Story, promote awareness and utilization of the services, and measure the effectiveness of the Washington County Veterans Services Department.
“I am pleased each member of the committee has agreed to continue serving,” Eldridge said. “I look forward with great anticipation to Jerry’s service to the veterans of our community, and how his involvement will enhance the efforts of Washington County’s to meet the needs of our veteran population.”