Veterans and their families may benefit from a state office returning to Lawrence County.
The Alabama Department of Veterans Affairs (ADVA) opened a Veterans Service Office in Moulton with a special ribbon cutting ceremony on Tuesday. State, city and county leaders were present for the commemoration.
ADVA Commissioner Admiral Kent Davis said the new veterans office will assist roughly 1,800 Lawrence County veterans in applying for federal and state benefits. Across the state, he said the ADVA assists with benefits for about 400,000 veterans, and the office in Lawrence County was one of seven new offices opened in Alabama as of Tuesday.
The Lawrence County Veterans Office is one of 17 offices in Alabama that had closed by 2012 due to state budget cuts. In 2019, the ADVA began reopening services offices to expand statewide services to all of Alabama’s 67 counties.
“The partnership we have with the Lawrence County Commission and the City of Moulton strengthens our ability to serve those veterans that have bravely served our country,” said ADVA Commissioner Kent Davis. “We’re here to serve you, and the best way we can do that is by being a part of local communities. We could not do this without working together on federal and state levels, and most importantly through your local officials. It is the county, after all who provides the office.”
Lawrence Administrator Heather Dyar said the county is providing office space and utilities for the Veterans Service Office in the Commission Annex through a partnership with the VA.
“On behalf of the County Commission, we’re happy the office is reopening here in the county. We’ve missed you,” Dyar said.
The Veterans Office is designed to assist veterans, their dependents, and their survivors in the application and processing of claims for benefits and entitlements available from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
Lawrence County welcomed Veterans Affairs Officer Nathan Tidwell, who will continue to aid veterans in Winston County as well as the new office in Moulton each week.
“We are an advocate for veterans,” Tidwell said. “Our office is here to assist them in taking the right steps in applying for benefits provided by state and federal offices. We’re here to help ensure no one falls through the cracks. If they are eligible, we will help them with applications to make sure they get what they qualify for.”
Services provided by the office include the processing of compensation and pension applications, appeal of VA decisions, filing for survivors death benefits, application for aid and attendance and housebound benefits, certification of claim documents, request for military service records, upgrade of military discharges, and application for special veteran license plates.
Also present for Saturday’s ceremony were ADVA Regional Director Tim Edgil, ADVA Assistant Commissioner Bob Horton, and Alabama Rep. Robert Aderholt.
“We’re working to make services available to our veterans in every county statewide,” Aderholt said. “It is through a partnership with local and county officials that we are able to make this much needed service possible.”
Tidwell said the new office, which opened in the Lawrence County Commission Annex on Alabama 157 in Moulton on Tuesday, will be open once a week on Tuesdays from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Veterans or families who may qualify for benefits listed above are urged to call Tidwell’s office for an appointment at 256-974-0663.