Veterans make up approximately 5% of the Stutsman County’s population and often turn to David Bratton, Stutsman County’s Veterans Service representative for assistance.
“We are helping county and local veterans access state and federal benefits,” he said. “Our bread and butter helps file disability claims.”
There are 1,344 veterans in Stutsman County using the US Veterans Administration. This agency pays approximately $ 12 million annually in disability benefits and pensions to veterans in the county. Veteran medical benefits in the county add an additional $ 6 million each year.
“The most important thing is to give the veteran population what they deserve,” said Bratton.
Bratton, himself an Operation Iraqi Freedom campaign veteran where he served as a rifleman on an M1 Abrams tank, said his agency is geared towards serving veterans at all stages of their post-military life.
“For the newer vets, we’re helping them arrange educational services,” he said. “If we can’t help them, we can put them in touch with the agency who can help.”
Assistance extends to those who sometimes want to learn more about a family member’s military service. This may include identifying the unit in which the family member served, what campaigns or battles the unit was involved in, and what medals or commendations the family member may have received.
Access to the Veterans Service Office and other lower-level offices of the Stutsman County Law Enforcement Center recently changed for security reasons. The door to the stairs from the building’s first floor is now locked and people are asked to call the first floor offices to be shown down to the lower level.
“We’re open to business,” said Bratton, “but the point is to let us know you’re here so we can let you in.”
Call the Stutsman County Veterans Service Office at 252-9043.