There is a new face assisting Hamilton County veterans and their families. On Jan. 16, Lynn Epperson replaced Wayne Long after 16 years of service.
“I do have big shoes to fill,” said Epperson. “I’m extremely happy the commissioners selected me as the new veterans service officer. Hopefully I can take the reins from Wayne and do a better job.”
Epperson is a 1984 Noblesville High School graduate. She is an Army brat and Air Force veteran.
“I’ve helped veterans the past 25 to 30 years,” she said.
Nicknamed “Ron’s (Wilson) shadow,” Epperson is a life member of the VFW Ladies Auxiliary, member of the American Legion’s Auxiliary, Navy Club of Hamilton County and Hamilton County Veteran Corp.
“I help veterans and/or their families sign up for the benefits they are due for their service,” she said. “Hamilton County has about 16,000 veterans that we need to reach out to and educate on their benefits. That is my primary goal for 2015.”
Epperson said the biggest problem she assists with is funeral services and military rites.
“When a veteran passes, if their family doesn’t have their DD214 or honorable discharge the funeral director can’t help with funeral services,” she said. “DD214 can be on file here or at the recorder’s office so if something happens they can contact us and we’ll have it.”
One of the biggest changes with Epperson’s hiring is the office switching from part-time to full-time.
“A lot of Vietnam veterans were exposed to Agent Orange and there has been a change in regulations and we are trying to get in touch with Vietnam veterans who served and were originally denied (benefits),” she said. “There’s also a lot of Gulf War veterans getting out.”
The Hamilton County Veterans Service Office is open 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday at Suite 179 in the Hamilton County Judicial Center, 1 Hamilton County Square, Noblesville. Epperson may be reached at 776-9610.
Hamilton County residents that are active military or a veteran are invited to become a member of the Hamilton County Veterans. The group holds meetings at 7 p.m. on the last Monday of the month at the Hamilton East Public Library-Noblesville, 1 Library Plaza. For more information on this and other veteran organizations, visit www.hamiltoncountyveterans.com/index.html.