They say they used to get complaints at the state level about the Sumter County Veterans Affairs Office. Now they don't.
Represented last week by state Rep. David Weeks, D-Sumter, they give credit for the improvement in local access to veterans' …
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Represented last week by state Rep. David Weeks, D-Sumter, they give credit for the improvement in local access to veterans' services to Valerie Brunson. Whether it proved the statements or demonstrated a show of solidarity and support, council chambers at an April 23 Sumter County Council meeting was left to standing room only - not a typical public meeting attendance rate.
"A few years ago, a vacancy opened up in our VA office. And I knew I wanted, obviously a veteran, but someone who would work toward getting every benefit for every veteran they're entitled to," Weeks said. "We recognize that in Sumter, but now she has been voted on by her peers at a statewide level."
Council recognized Brunson, the Sumter office's director, for being named the South Carolina Veteran Service Officer of the Year. She was awarded the honor by the S.C. Veteran Service Officer of the Year on March 14.
Sumter County Council Chairman Jim McCain presented Brunson with a gift and the award, a golden eagle perched atop the stand, wings outstretched.
The Sumter County Legislative Delegation appointed Brunson to the position in 2011. The Sumter native served in the S.C. Air National Guard for six years and worked in the Sumter County Treasurer's office for 14 years.
Councilman Eugene Baten shared his approving sentiments both via his role as an elected official and a veteran who spent 27 years in the Air Force.
"I know every member of that group [Sumter veterans] respects this lady," Baten said. "I think we have the best veterans affairs officer in the state. And in the country."
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