BY VETERANS ADVOCATE THOM STODDERT
The Internet is nice, but for those of us who still prefer face-to-face guidance, Kitsap County has many legal and ethical certified service officers.
First there are Veteran Service Organizations’ Representatives who are also accredited by the VA. These folks are paid by their respective service organization with full- time employment. Their education in VA law and regulation is extensive.
State Veterans Home — Retsil
1141 Beach Drive., Bldg. 9, Port Orchard. Contact: 360-895-4382/4390. Staffed with VA-accredited service officers.
DAV Adjutant’s Office
140 NE Highway 300, Belfair. 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday to Thursday or by appointment. Contact: 360- 552-2303.
Work Source Kitsap County, DAV Chapter 5
2315 Burwell Ave., Bremerton. 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday to Wednesday. Contact: 360- 373-8983, 360-373-2397. Nine certified service officers on staff.
American Legion Post 31/VFW Post 1694
Veterans Memorial Hall, 210 W. Franklin St. Shelton. Available from 9 a.m. to noon, 1 to 3 p.m., Monday to Wednesday. Contact: 360-426-4546.
Kitsap County Veterans Program
614 Division St., Port Orchard. Contact: 360-337-4811. Info: www.kitsapgov.com/hs/veterans/VA.htm.
Veterans of Foreign Wars, Post 2669
736 Bay St., Port Orchard. Noon to 4 p.m. Tuesday.
National Association of Black Veterans
865 Sixth St., Bremerton. Call ahead for times. Info: 360-434- 7572, 360-373-0069, email@example.com.
VA Benefits Administration
Chase Building, sixth floor, Fifth Street and Pacific Avenue, Bremerton. Contact: 360- 782-9900.
State Department of Veterans Affairs
1102 Quince Street, SE, Olympia. 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday to Friday. Contact: 800- 562-2308.
Tribes also maintain veterans services.
Other volunteer resources
There are also service officers in Kitsap who are unpaid volunteers and veterans themselves. They are sponsored (certified) by a national service organization such as the Veterans of Foreign Wars,Disabled American Veterans, and the American Legion. Though they have limited formal education in VA affairs, they are committed to serving vets.
Want to do it yourself?
The VA has done a great job in posting information and videos to its websites. At www.benefits.va.gov, you will find information aalong with the necessary forms.
If you know of a resource not mentioned here, please share it by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.