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SC Department of Veterans Affairs holds first stakeholders meeting on Sept. 9

Any organization or individual that provides services for veterans in South Carolina is invited to the first Veterans Stakeholders Meeting on Thurs., Sept. 9, in Columbia.

Hosted by the SC Department of Veterans’ Affairs, the event seeks to bring together traditional and non-traditional service organizations, employment and education partners, for-profit and nonprofit entities and individuals across the state that are providing programs and services for veterans.

“Our department essentially has the responsibility of being that connective link between the veteran and his or her family member and the US Department of Veterans Affairs,” said Department Secretary William Grimsley. “We assist veterans to obtain the benefits to which they are entitled and we’re really working hard to integrate all the opportunities that exist in the state and pull them together.”

The first stakeholders meeting follows a year of foundation building after South Carolina’s Division of Veteran Affairs became the SC Department of Veterans Affairs in 2019. The transition expanded the scope and scale of the department, almost doubling the size of the staff, according to Grimsley.

The department has implemented a comprehensive plan with measurable objectives and has worked toward passage of new legislation in South Carolina to benefits veterans and their families. For example, passage of the State Licensing and Career Credentials Initiative for Military Spouses helps make it easier for military spouses to transition their credentials to a new state when moving. And in May, SC Gov. Henry McMaster signed a bill granting all military veterans and their dependents in-state tuition at South Carolina’s universities regardless of when they left the service.

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Grimsley said the department is coordinating with veteran affairs offices in South Carolina’s 46 counties to better support the work being done in local communities.

“We’ve got a long way to go, but this is a passion and it’s a labor love and it’s giving back to our tribe, and for that, I’m grateful every day to come to work,” Grimsley said.

The Veterans Stakeholders meeting will be held on Thurs., Sept. 9, at the Pastides Alumni Center, 900 Senate Street in Columbia. A pre-event expo will be held from 9:30 a.m. – 10:15 a.m., with the presentation to follow. The event will be broadcast live on SCETV and on the SCVDA’s Facebook page @4SCVETS.

To reserve your seat, email va@scdva.sc.gov or call (803) 734-0200.

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