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Sullivan able to assist local military veterans

Nassau County Record - 6/27/2018

Nassau County Veterans Service Officer Bob Sullivan recently assumed the helm to assist military veterans.

He replaces John Martin, who retired June 4. Martin served the county for 13 years.

"It was a way for me to give back to the veteran community ? to assist them with navigating through the VA's process," Sullivan said.

The Nassau County Veterans Service Office provides free assistance to veterans, dependants and their survivors. Sullivan is an accredited representative of the Florida Department of Veterans Affairs. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Workforce Education and Development from Southern Illinois University that he earned in 2012.

Sullivan is a retired Navy chief. The Poughkeepsie, N.Y. native entered the Navy as a 17-yearold high school graduate and served for 20 years as an aviation machinist for A-7 jets and helicopters.

After retirement, Sullivan received educational assistance from the service office, so he's appreciative of how the agency helped him. "There was a place to go and get help and I found it here and that's just something that sticks in the back of your head," he said.

Although he advocates for veterans on behalf of the Veterans Administration, the VA does not employ him.

"I work for the veteran," Sullivan said.

His second-largest client base comes from military spouses.

"I help them with the benefits they're entitled to," Sullivan said. "When the veteran passes, they don't know what to do. They may not have been involved in their spouse's service."

It is not uncommon for Sullivan to return up to 50 phone calls per week pertaining to pension requirements, current health care questions or service-connected disabilities. When he's not out in the community visiting veterans' groups and patient care facilities across the area, he books appointments.

It may take a couple visits to obtain all the personal information and documentation required to proceed with filing benefits, according to Sullivan.

He also assists veterans through the Veterans Treatment Court program.

It is a "court supervised, comprehensive treatment program designed to identify individuals with qualifying criminal charges who are active military or who have honorable or general under honorable discharge from military service, have a documented mental health diagnosis, including but not limited to, post-traumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injury and/ or substance abuse disorder, and have an existing nexus between the offense or diagnoses and the military service," according to a handout from the veterans office.

To schedule an appointment with Sullivan, call 904-548-4670. kcolgrove@nassau countyrecord.com


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