WICHITA FALLS ( KFDX/KJTL) —The Wichita County Veterans Service Office is overwhelmed and understaffed. That’s according to the former senior veterans affairs counselor who resigned last week.
“She was an expert and helped several of my.. folks that came to me.”
Wichita County Treasurer Bob Hampton voiced his thoughts Monday during the Wichita County Commissioners Court meeting, on the resignation of Wichita County Veterans Affairs Counselor Mandy Patlan.
Speaking by phone, employed with the office since 2015, Patlan said she was doing the job of three people and she “couldn’t hold on any longer.” She also said she and the office were overwhelmed with claims and not just from the more than 15,000 veterans in Wichita County, but also from those she said coming from surrounding areas like Seymour and Quanah.
“Those girls were running back and forth, making their own copies, doing things that someone else should have been doing,” U.S. Marine Corps veteran James Hollis said.
Hollis said the office has helped him a lot; but he knows the office itself also needs help. He was there last week, waiting for twenty minutes and was then told he wouldn’t be seen and posted his frustration on social media.
“I don’t understand how we get to that point to where you can lose an entire office staff in that short time frame,” Hollis said.
“Unfortunately, that was the timing of the other two counselors that we had, one state, one county person, also within the same three week period, they left for… I think the state person transferred to another office and our person had personal reasons that she felt like she needed to…” Wichita County Judge Woody Gossom said.
On a positive note, Judge Gossom, himself a veteran, said the state has authorized a well-needed second person for our area.
In the meantime, Judge Gossom said the Wichita County Veterans Service Office with volunteers and a receptionist will be open until noon each day.
The judge also said they were interviewing for the position Monday.