Vaughn picked as Ashe Veterans Service Officer

Dylan Lightfoot Staff Writer

November 6, 2013

The Ashe County Veterans Services Office this morning announced Darryl Vaughn of West Jefferson as the new Veterans Service Officer.

“I have a real desire to get the job started,” he said.

Vaughn, an Ashe resident since 1972, was selected from among approximately 40 applicants, according to Ashe County Board of Commissioners Chairman Larry Rhodes. The board interviewed six candidates for the position, he said.

Himself a 26-year Army National Guard veteran, Staff Sgt. Vaughn, 51, served two overseas tours with the 1450th Transportation Company. He currently works for Pepsi Bottling Ventures in Deep Gap, and starts his new job Nov. 12.

According to the ACVSO, “The laws and regulations that govern the Veterans Administration are very complex. The Service Officer, acting as the veteran’s advocate, provides counseling and assistance to the veteran and family to ensure their claims are properly and aggressively completed.”

Vaughn said the performance standard for his office was set by outgoing Veterans Service Officer Angela Reagan, who tendered her resignation in August due to illness. “My goal is to live up to that,” he said.

According to Reagan, federal VA benefits in Ashe total over $450,000 a month or approximately $5.5 million a year. During her tenure as Veterans Service officer, some veterans were connected with needed benefits they were not even aware they were entitled to, she said.

Speaking to Ashe County’s veterans, Vaughn said, “They can come to me any time. I’m not just going to be in the office, I want to get out in the community.”