'Witnessing history'

World War II veterans Richard Holloway, left, and Charles Cole talk over lunch with family members at Short's Brewing Company in Bellaire, Mich. The two met there two years ago, and bonded over their service as pilots during the war.

The Alabama Department of Veterans Affairs (ADVA) has reopened the department’s county-based veterans service offices that were temporarily closed in response to the COVID-19 emergency.

Most county offices are providing services by appointment-only, and because of on-going preventive measures and due to limited space in some offices, walk-in appointments are suspended until further notice. Some veterans service offices are located in county facilities that remain closed to the public; however, a veterans service officer will be available at these facilities to take calls and assist veterans and their dependents.

The ADVA and its county offices continue to follow preventive measures such as wearing masks and maintaining social distancing. For in-office appointments, the county offices will follow protocols for protecting both employees and veteran clients.

The St. Clair County office has reopened by appointment only. You can reach the office to set up an appointment by calling 205-338-7315. Their office hours are Monday-Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

“Our county veterans service offices offer a vital service to our veterans and their family members, and we’re taking necessary steps to reopen the offices to deliver services while following protective measures that are in the best interest of public health and safety,” said ADVA Commissioner Kent Davis.

The ADVA operates 51 county veterans service offices, and as part of a 2019 initiative to expand services, the ADVA will open 9 additional county offices in 2020. The department’s objective is to have a veterans service office in all 67 counties to serve the state’s more than 400,000 veterans.

The county veterans service offices assist veterans and their dependents with compensation and pension claims, educational benefits, VA home loans, and referral services for needs such as temporary housing, healthcare, counseling, and job placement.

A list of ADVA’s county-based veterans service offices that have reopened along with instructions for making an appointment is available at VA.Alabama.gov.

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