Tulsa City/County Host Veterans Resource Fair
Commentary by DEWEY F. BARTLETT JR.
Mayor of Tulsa
IN SERVICE: Two veterans, Phil Scherman and Jim Harris, both DAV service officers, receive information about veteran benefits.
You are all familiar with both the City of Tulsa and Tulsa County as government organizations. We pass laws, collect taxes, provide services, and other essential government functions. Just like other businesses our size, we have a duty to provide our employees with benefits and opportunities to further themselves both personally and professionally.
A significant amount of veterans are employed by both the City of Tulsa and Tulsa County. These dedicated employees selflessly served our country and sacrificed so much for our freedom. They continue serving our community today as law enforcement, fire fighters, street maintenance crews, engineers, and administrators. They bring the exceptional skills and leadership developed during their years of service to our community.
Last year, my administration formed a committee to address challenges facing our City of Tulsa employees who served in the Armed Forces. Our committee surveyed this special group, and the results showed many were not aware of the veteran service benefits available to them. To address this, the City of Tulsa and Tulsa County partnered to host our first-ever Veteran’s Resource Fair for City and County employees last month.
Our goal was to provide our veterans with the opportunity to have a dialogue with the Veteran’s Administration and learn more about the benefits they have earned while serving our nation. Many attendees at our Veterans Resource Fair were unaware they qualified for benefits. The highlight of the day came from a Tulsa County employee who had been waiting eight years to receive benefits and was able to meet with the VA that afternoon and work everything out.
All in all, 111 City/County veterans and their spouses talked to the about the benefits process and the VA for benefits relating to National Guard/Reservists. Dr. Phillip Berry, city physician, also presented excellent information on and has since been asked to hold other city/county classes on this important subject that may still affect many of our veterans.
As Mayor, I’m extremely pleased the city and ccounty collaborated together to assist this valuable group of civil servants to receive the benefits they earned while serving our country. I also want to take this opportunity to thank Tulsa County and the City of Tulsa staff who worked hard to make this event a success. I’m so grateful this collaborative effort was beneficial for our veterans and their families and trust that next year’s event can help many more.