The Thayer County Commissioners appointed John Luongo to be the County Veteran Service Officer, effective March 1.
Dr. Marlin Bauhard, recently elected commissioner, submitted his resignation to the commissioners.
Bauhard resigned after eight years (the median time for a veteran’s service officer is 7.5 years) and said Luongo is precise and conscientious and keeps veterans first in mind.
“It’s a perfect fit for him,” Bauhard said.
Luongo served in the U.S. Army as a Military Police Officer, and as a Drill Sergeant.
“I served 20 years, four months and 16 days,” he said.
He said the veteran’s service officer position is a chance for him to help take care of veterans.
“It’s military taking care of military. It’s an honor to take care of them,” Luongo said.
He is also the safety officer at Thayer County Health Services and will split the week serving both positions.
The county Veteran’s Affairs office is open Tuesdays from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m., and Wednesdays, 1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. It is located in basement of the courthouse.
“I am lucky to fall into a job like that,” Luongo said. “I look forward to it and want to do good at it.”
Bauhard, himself a Vietnam Veteran, said he served because it was a chance to help veterans after being a long time physician in the community.
“I’ll be around to help John out, so there will be no gaps. We have a good program,” Bauhard said.
The veteran service officer is a liaison between veterans and the VA.
“It’s important to know the facts because the regional VA does not always act in the best interest of the veteran. That’s where we come in,” Bauhard said.