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LaGrange office of GDVS celebrates new home

Officials celebrated the relocation of the LaGrange office of the Georgia Department of Veterans Service to the Department of Labor on Friday.

Representatives from both departments said they hope the new office location will make it easier for veterans to access the services that they need.

“We think that it will benefit them because they can leave the labor department and go right into our office here and find out what benefits they may be entitled to,” said Mike Roby, commissioner of the Georgia Department of Veterans Service. “It is just a win-win situation for everyone. We are proud to be able to do that.”

The Veterans Service office is designed to assist veterans with state and federal benefits, like VA healthcare, compensation for service-connected disabilities, pension for wartime veterans or surviving spouses, financial assistance for home health care, assisted living and nursing home care, Certificates of Eligibility for a VA Home Loan and Post-9/11 GI Bill education benefits.

 “We are glad to have the Department of Veteran Services here,” said Gail Long, the manager at the LaGrange Department of Labor. “Veterans may be coming in for one service, but they may end up needing to look for a job. That is what we are here to do, so I see it as a win-win situation.”

The GDVS center’s employees, Office Manager Charles Drake and Veterans Field Service Officer Leonard Harris, are both accredited by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and the GDVS to file veterans benefit claims. The office will also serve veterans living in Harris, Heard, Meriwether and Troup counties. 

“Where we were before, it was kind of isolated,” Roby said. “It was not well advertised, and it was just hard to get to. There is great parking here. The Labor Department is a great group of folks, and we are just excited to be here with them and to be able to help them serve our veterans.”

The LaGrange office of the Georgia Department of Labor is located at 1002 Longley Place. The two-person office of the Georgia Department of Veterans Service will be open from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Monday through Friday, except on state holidays. Veterans and their families will be seen on a first come, first serve basis. No appointments will be necessary. To contact the office, call (706) 845-4381 or 4355 or email charles.drake@vs.state.ga.us or leonard.harris@vs.state.ga.us.