BROOKVILLE — The new Jefferson County Veteran’s Affairs director, Bill Bechdel, is eager to help local veterans and add programs to the area for their benefit.
Bechdel previously held a VA position in Clinton County for six years. He left this position in August last year, but wanted another position helping veterans. He moved to the area just for the position as the Jefferson County VA director. Bechdel enjoyed his time helping veterans and wanted to get back into a position like this one.
“It’s not for me it’s for them. When you do something for them, it’s my satisfaction when they come in here and are happy with what we’ve got. I do it for the veterans, I do not do it for myself,” Bechdel said.
He also said he is planning to stay in this position for at least five to ten years. He is already looking to start a new program for the county that he is familiar with from his time in Clinton County.
“I want to get a Military Share Program started. I’m waiting on a call back from the food bank in Erie to get that going. It’s a great program,” Bechdel said.
Veterans with low income get food for nothing through this program. They are guaranteed to get milk, eggs, a meat, and produce every month along with some dry foods. This benefits veteran’s and spouses.
This is the main program he is focusing on right now, but he does have other plans for later.
“There’s other things I would like to do, but I want to get this one kicked off before I start another one,” he said.
Even before he was a VA director in Clinton County, Bechdel was a member of his local American Legion and helped the veterans there.
Bechdel has a history of veterans in his family – his uncles, brothers, and himself – all drive his passion.
“I want to get to know the county like I knew my county before,” Bechdel said. “I’ve been out to a couple of the Legions and VFWs, and I want to make it to the rest of them. I want to attend at least a meeting for every club. That way they’ll know my face.”
He also wants to make sure the veterans know they do not have to have an appointment to come in. If you want an appointment, he will make one, but veterans don’t have to have one.
“You walk in today, I will wait on you today,” Bechdel said.
He is in his office from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on weekdays. He can be reached on his direct line (814)-849-1529 or his cell phone 814-715-2089.