OSWEGO COUNTY – When Americans across the U.S. pause on Nov. 11 and remember the tremendous sacrifices made by those who served in the Armed Forces, more than 16,000 Oswego County residents will be included in the number of military veterans.
Among them is Jamie Hamlin, a decorated U.S. Navy veteran who was appointed Director of the Oswego County Veterans Service Agency in March.
The agency helps veterans and their families obtain several types of benefits that they’ve earned through their military service.
There are about 16,000 veterans living in Oswego County, from World War II to Iraq and Afghanistan.
Hamlin taught advanced electronic warfare intelligence to fighter pilots aboard a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier before leaving the Navy in 2015.
She has extensive experience as an advisor, suicide prevention counselor and in supervising and evaluating military and civilian personnel.
After 12 years in the Navy, she took a job with Exelon Generation at Nine Mile Point.
She holds a Bachelor’s degree in administrative business management and economics.
“Fortunately for me, even with a 90 percent disability rating, I was able to have an almost flawless return to civilian life and was hired as the corrective actions program coordinator at Exelon Generation’s Nine Mile Point Nuclear Station. Unfortunately,” said Hamlin, “there are many veterans out there who have yet to find such success.”
“I am extremely passionate about the well-being of our local veterans,” she added. “It is very important to me that Oswego County veterans are able to receive the services and attention that they not only deserve but are entitled to. Without our community and our city’s support of programs such as Veterans Services, these brave men and women can fall under the radar and into hard times.”
The Veterans Service Agency is located on the second floor of the County Branch Office Building at 200 N. Second St., Fulton.
Office hours are 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday; the office is closed from noon to 1 p.m. daily for lunch.
Hamlin holds office hours by appointment the first and second Thursdays of the month at the H. Douglas Barclay Courthouse in Pulaski, weather permitting.
“We have a courteous and knowledgeable staff who make every effort to get the veteran and families the maximum amount of benefits in the shortest amount of time,” said Hamlin. “Our office is extremely busy, and we prefer to see our clients by appointment, to afford them the time they deserve.”
Walk-in services are available on Tuesdays, with follow-up appointments scheduled if needed.
The office staff helps veterans with several types of services, including:
– Compensation – monetary benefits for veterans who suffered an injury or disease while serving in the military.
– Pension- income-based benefit for veterans who are unemployable because of medical reasons.
– Medicaid referrals for clients who may be eligible for veteran’s benefits while applying for Medicaid.
– Nursing home benefits for war-time veterans or their widows or widowers.
– Education benefits for veterans, reservists, members of the National Guard and some dependents.
– Healthcare assistance with enrollment applications
– Burial benefits for both VA and military.
– Indigent burials
– Veterans plaques for gravesite.
– Home loan certificates for benefits through mortgage lenders
– Life insurance paperwork for dependents
– Assistance in obtaining military records and military medals.
– Tax exemptions for war-time veterans and Cold War veterans, and
– Retirement paperwork for active duty and reservists
Hamlin is active in local veterans’ organizations including Team Red, White and Blue in Oswego, a volunteer organization dedicated to connecting veterans with their community through physical and social activity, as well as the Fulton Veterans Council and the Oswego County Veterans’ Services Advisory Committee.
She will speak at 11 a.m. on Veterans Day at the Hannibal VFW.
Legislator Bradley Trudell, District 7, is a U.S. Marine Corps veteran and chairs the newly-formed Veterans’ Services Advisory Committee.
“The Veterans’ Services Advisory Committee is made up of veterans helping veterans,” said Legislator Trudell. “They’re all veterans and volunteers continuing to serve the community. The members truly embody the Spirit of America and service to our country. It just doesn’t get any better than that.”
The advisory committee is working to improve the quality of life for veterans through community outreach and advocacy projects.
A ceremony honoring the 132 soldiers from Oswego County who lost their lives in World War I will be held on Veterans Day, Sunday, Nov. 11, at 1 p.m. at the Veterans Memorial Park at West Linear Park, Oswego.
The public is invited to attend.
“This year’s Veterans Day marks the 100th anniversary of the Armistice that ended World War I,” said Legislator Roy Reehil, chairman of the Legislature’s Human Services Committee. “Armistice Day was officially changed to Veterans Day in 1954, to include all who have given military service to our nation. I encourage all residents of Oswego County to take time on Veterans Day to honor our veterans for their patriotism, their love of our country, and their willingness to serve and sacrifice for the common good.”
The County Legislature’s Human Services Committee oversees the Veterans Service Agency, Oswego City-County Youth Bureau, Department of Social Services, and Office for the Aging.
In addition to Legislator Reehil, members are legislators Trudell, committee vice chairman; Tom Drumm, District 16; Nathan Emmons, District 15; Daniel Farfaglia, District 24; and James Karasek, District 22.
To contact the Oswego County Veterans Service Agency, call 315-591-9100 weekdays, or visit http://www.oswegocounty.com/veterans/index.html or https://www.facebook.com/OswegoVSA/