Bio: Landers, Don (2008)

Contact: Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon

Surnames: Landers, Reil, Hagedorn, Ziegler, Hoffman, Harris

----Source: Clark County Press (Neillsville, Clark Co., WI.) August 6, 2008

Landers, Don

CVSO - Mission Accomplished

As my career as your CVSO comes to a close, I reflect on that December day in 1997 when I first walked into the office and prepared to start working. I was reminded by the outgoing CVSO, Bob Reil that the job required me to advise persons living in Clark County who served in the U. S. Armed Forces regarding any benefits to which they may be entitled or any complaint or problem arising out of such service and render to them and their dependents all possible assistance. The enormity of that responsibility hit me as I reviewed the files that Bob had turned over to me. I thought about the interview that I had with the Veterans Affairs Committee, which had hired me. I promised them that if I was given the position, my commitment to them and the veterans’ community would be to recognize their contributions and insure they felt I had met my responsibilities to them through trust, honesty, respect and open communications in my day-to-day behavior.

In fact, I start each day with a small prayer asking God for guidance and wisdom to do just that. He must have been listening as he blessed me with some wonderful people who shared this journey with me. My first secretary, Lois Hagedorn, helped me through the first year and then advanced to become your Register of Deeds. Marcia Ziegler was promoted from the Department of Aging to become my administrative secretary and shares the same passion for serving our veterans I feel this job demands. Our veterans have done their duty, and it is our honor to provide them with the best service possible.

As the sun sets on this, my last career; I take pride in knowing I have done the best I could. I did not win all the battles, but I won more than most. Today, Clark County ranks fourth out of Wisconsin’s 72 counties in Federal VA per-capita. But it is not the ranking that counts; it is, hopefully, that I have made a difference in your life for the better, that I brought some justice to the sacrifices made by you and your family. I have laughed with you and I have cried with you, and the memories will live with me to the end of my days.

I would like to express my sincere gratitude for letting me be of service to you. I look forward to visiting with you at my retirement party sponsored by the Colby VFW Aug. 9 at 1 p.m. and at a retirement party sponsored by the Neillsville American Legion, Sept. 6 at 1 p.m. If you could, stop by and visit with me at one of these. I want to extend my appreciation to Tom Hoffman from the VFW and Don Harris from the American Legion for setting this up and all who are working to make this a fond farewell party.

Fair winds and following seas

Don Landers, Clark County Veterans Service Officer



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