La Crosse County office helps veterans understand and apply for benefits – La Crosse Tribune | CarTailz

You can meet Kathy Thoen at fairs and festivals, on college campuses, in VFW halls, public libraries – anywhere she might find a veteran. Thoen works for the La Crosse County Veterans Service Office and is passionate about helping veterans and their families.

“My job is to go out into the community to meet veterans and connect them to our office,” says Thoen, whose title is veteran service coordinator, a relatively new position.

Many of the thousands of veterans who make their home in La Crosse County may not be aware of the benefits to which they are entitled or the County Veterans Services Office. The office is part of La Crosse County and acts as an advocate for veterans by helping them understand and apply for benefits.

“We want to make sure no veteran misses out on benefits they deserve and that they know our office is on their side and can help them navigate the process of receiving federal and state benefits,” Thoen said.

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The County Veterans Services Office helps veterans apply for disability and VA medical benefits, both of which are federal programs. The office also assists with state and local benefits, which may include rent or payment for auto repairs, property tax credits, and obtaining a veteran identifier on a driver’s license. Thoen and the Veterans Services Office team can also help with educational services for veterans and their families.

In the past, the office waited for veterans to come to them, but Thoen’s position is a shift toward a more proactive approach. The change means she will meet veterans who otherwise would not be able to attend the Veterans Services Office.

“Sometimes veterans want to leave their accomplishments for people who they think deserve more,” Thoen said. “I’m trying to explain that when they try to leave it to others, they really just leave theirs on the table.”

In addition to helping veterans understand and apply for federal and state benefits, the Veterans Service Office can help connect its clients to other local resources such as: B. Help finding housing or work. Thoen encouraged veterans to call the office and learn about the benefits they are entitled to now or in the future.

“It’s worth calling and making an appointment to make sure you don’t miss anything,” she added. “Remember that we are local, part of La Crosse County, and our sole purpose is to help veterans.”

Learn more about the La Crosse County Veterans Services office at lacrossecounty.org/veterans or by calling 608-785-9719.

For its third year, River Valley Media Group has published stories from local service members who have served their country and community.



On Saturday, a group of veterans, politicians, locals and descendants of Martin A. Treptow gathered at the American Legion in Bloomer to honor a soldier who never made it home from WWI. During the ceremony, attendees swore allegiance, listened to Treptow’s story, and watched as the man was honored with a 21-gun salute and the horn call of the taps.

Audrey Corte



They are stories of service, of courage, of the fatherland. Check out the 2022 Honor Stories from River Valley Media Group; Readers nominated this year’s heroes.



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