Sherry Riley, Shelby County Veterans’ Service Officer Speaks to The American Legion Post 90 Members

Saturday morning December 5th, Timpson American Legion Post 90 had their regular monthly meeting. These monthly meetings begin with a hearty breakfast that may be one of the best around, complete with biscuits and southern made gravy. Fred Wilcox, Post 90 Chaplain, blessed the food and asked a special blessing on the Post 90 members and guests following the pledges to the American and Texas flags. Once everyone had his or her plate and were seated Commander Richard Hightower opened the meeting and welcomed everyone.  Post 90 Adjutant Richard Lundie read the minutes of the previous meeting, which were approved by the members.  

 

Sherry Riley, VSO and guest speaker were introduced and lead to the podium. She gave a brief history of how she had been appointed to the position in January 2014, and how she shortly thereafter found out she was not legally qualified for the appointment in any way. Under Texas law for Veteran Assistance Agencies, at the time there were 3 qualifications to be appointed; they were the service officer to be is 1) a mother or widow of a veteran killed while in service 2) a spouse of a totally disabled veteran or 3) is a veteran. Mrs. Riley stated that she was not satisfied with the current laws that would keep her from performing a job she knew she could do and wanted to do. Riley said she realized the only way she could be qualified was to change the law. So in April 2014, she began her research. Three months later in July, she wrote to State Senator Robert Nichols, Shelby County State Representative Chris Paddie and San Augustine County's Representative Trent Ashby. Her initiative with these state officials got the new law passed in the House April 16th. Over in the Senate, it passed on May 26th. The governor signed it into law June 17th. The new bill now allowed for the spouse of a veteran of 20 years or more of active duty to qualify as a service officer, a qualification Riley meets with no problem. 

Riley gave advise on how to increase and receive veteran benefits with quicker results. She answered many questions and offered her help anytime to any veteran. It was clear that her help was appreciated with the applause she received and the thanks from many of the members after the program. Veteran’s Service Officer Riley serves Shelby County's veterans’ population of over 1500 and San Augustine County's over 800 veterans. She can be reached at The Veteran’s Office on the Historic Courthouse Square in Center, Texas. 

 

Old business

Discussion on how well and successful the sale of hams turned out during Thanksgiving. 

The Honor Wall was mentioned and because of the weather it has been delayed. They are expected to continue work as soon as the weather permits.

 

New business

Discussed selling hams again during the Christmas holidays but to restrict it to 60 hams only. Vice Commander Vernett Richardson advised that the (YAC) Youth Advisory Committee under the American Legion Post 90 will be stationed at B & B and Quick Stop next Saturday, December 19th helping with the Salvation Army Red Kettle Bell Ringing. 

No meeting will be held in January.

 

Meeting was adjourned.