The Veterans Open House in Killdeer was a success, according to the new Dunn County Veterans Service Officer.
By Brad Mosher
The Open House, held June 25 at the High Plains Community Center, exceeded expectations, according to Carolyn Benz, the new county VSO.
It brought veterans service representatives together with veterans, in addition to helping with health services and job opportunities.
The success of the open house also means that the new VSO has increased her own workload.
The public health representatives offered free blood pressure checks while a regional representative of the U.S. Census Department from Minot was there hoping to recruit people willing to work on the upcoming 2020 census.
Kristie Dalen was in town trying to see if local veterans would be willing to take a part-time job. “It was great. We had five people stop by and all five people were interested.
“They (the Census) are hiring people right now,” Dalen explained. For those interested but couldn’t make it to the open house, they have another option. “They can go online,” she said.
For those who do not have a computer, they can also use the telephone, Dahlen said. “There is a lot of people who are like that one guy who said he didn’t have a computer… they can call 1-855-562-2020,” she added.
Dalen, who is a recruiting assistant, said it was about the time that the Census will start a real strong recruiting push to hire people.
“One nice thing about this job is that I get to see a lot of nice places in North Dakota,” she said.
The Veterans Open House was designed to announce the availability of the services that the county is offering to veterans.
As a result, the veterans service officer picked up nearly 20 new contacts to follow up on, Benz explained after the event had concluded.
“I have had one call after another today (July 27),” she said. “It was a good and productive meeting because it generated a lot of business. I have got appointments all over my calendar for the next week and calls a need to make back… so I have been busy-busy.”
For Benz it was a way she wanted to introduce herself to the veterans in the county. “A lot of these are new people who haven’t had services with me. It was good to get the word out.”
Among the people staffing places to handle the veterans who had questions was Henry Gerving of Beach. He is the VSO for Golden Valley for tribal and veteran services as well as the state VSO president.
“I think it was a really good turnout. With the amount of advertising that had been done, I was thinking that a good turnout would have been about 20 folks. We had 15 and that is very close to a good turnout. Outreach is a really good positive thing,” he explained. “It is contagious. If we had 15 here, hopefully next time we will have 30.
“These 15 will go out into the community and spread the word,” he added.
He also praised the county and its new VSO. “I think this was done well. I think the services she provided was good.” He also liked the addition of the census representatives and members from the county public health office which provided the free blood pressure checks.
“I think she has done a good job of adding some other things. You could always add something, but it depends on resources,” he said.
Having food and drinks available also was something which elevated the open house, Gerving said, joking the impact of having coffee would be really important to veterans.
“I think it was put together well. I think it was advertised well. I think it was a good turnout,” he said, noting that the weather outside even cooperated.