def # 7 01/11/12
VETERANS ASSISTANCE COMES TO SOUTHERN SERVICE CENTER
VETERANS living in the southern part of Ocean County will soon have easy access to County, State and Federal government
veteranís programs and services as they locate under one roof at the Ocean County Southern Service Center in Stafford
"I am happy to announce that by mid-February we will be offering our veterans living in the southern portion of
Ocean County access to services offered by the Ocean County Veterans Service Bureau, the New Jersey Department of Veterans
and Military Affairs and the Federal Veterans Administration," said Freeholder Director Gerry P. Little, who serves as
liaison to the countyís Veterans Service Bureau. "We have been working on this collaboration for some time now and we
believe it is the first of its kind anywhere having all these agencies under one roof providing services to our veterans."
Little noted that shortly a representative of the New Jersey Department of Veterans and Military Affairs will be at
the Southern Service Center for two days a week - Tuesdays and Thursdays - beginning as early as next week.
In addition, Ocean Countyís Veterans Service Bureau will have a representative there on Fridays and Mondays and the
Veteranís Administration will be there Monday through Friday starting in mid-February.
"Ocean County is home to the largest veteran population in the state and with so many members of the military coming home
from Iraq and Afghanistan, providing them with easy access to all the services and programs available to them is really key
in assisting them with re-entering civilian life," Little said.
Little said that veterans will be able to access assistance with claims, benefits, programs like job training, vocational
rehab and employment opportunities at the Ocean County Southern Service Center at 179 South Main Street, which is
conveniently located off of Routes 9 and 72 in Manahawkin.
"Last year, about 175 veterans from Ocean County were successfully placed in jobs with the help of these programs,"
Little said. "We know our veterans will need our help and we want to make sure we are there for them."
In addition, today Little and Freeholder Deputy Director John C. Bartlett Jr. wrote a letter to U.S. Rep. Christopher Smith
and U.S. Rep. Jon Runyan asking that a new mobile veteran assistance unit, which will be based at the VA Office in Lakewood,
make regularly scheduled trips to the countyís Veterans Service Bureau at 1027 Hooper Avenue, Toms River and also to the
Southern Service Center.
VA staff use the vehicles to provide individual and group counseling for military related injuries and
disabilities. They also provide employment opportunities, job search strategies and referrals from the unit again helping
veterans re-enter civilian life.
"We are very pleased that Congressman Smith is providing this unit to Ocean County and the state of New Jersey,"
Little said. "With the large veteran population in Ocean County, we would really like to see it make regular stops at our
county veteran services offices. This mobile unit will complement the many programs and services offered in Ocean County to