Veterans Service Officer now located at Southern Miss Gulf Park

Veterans Service Officer now located at Southern Miss Gulf Park

This is a news release from the University of Southern Mississippi

In a partnership between The University of Southern Mississippi and the Mississippi Veterans Affairs Board (MSVAB), a new service position has now come available on the Gulf Park campus in Long Beach to be of assistance to military veterans along the Mississippi Gulf Coast.

Annette Carr, retired U.S. Navy petty officer, first class, has joined the University's Gulf Park campus as a Veterans Service Officer for the state of Mississippi. In this position, she will advise and counsel local military veterans and their families, concerning rights and entitlements under various federal and state laws.

Stationed at Gulf Park, Carr will assist veterans between the vicinity of Ocean Springs and Bay St. Louis-Waveland.

"On behalf of the Mississippi Veterans Affairs Board, I am very happy to announce the opening of our Veterans Service Office on the USM Gulf Park campus," said retired Maj. Gen. James Garner, chairman of MSVAB. "We appreciate retired Maj. Gen. Jeff Hammond, director of the Center for Military Veterans, Service Members and Families at The University of Southern Mississippi, for making these facilities available for us on the USM campus."

As a Veterans Service Officer, Carr will extend services to veterans in the Gulf Coast area for support with claims, health care and other matters relating to their military service.

Carr will advise and guide veterans and dependents regarding issues that include VA claims, appeals, hearings, compensation, pension, health care, burial and survivor benefits. She will also help them navigate the VA process and the many federal, state, and local resources and benefits available to them.

As an affiliate of the University, Carr will also have opportunities to work closely with the University's Center for Military Veterans, Service Members and Families, such as identifying needs, concerns and issues impacting military students.

Retired Maj. Gen. Jeff Hammond, director of the center, said that this affiliation with MSVAB marks another chapter in which the University can demonstrate how it cares about people and their future.

"Together, both offices can resolve problems to meet veterans' respective needs. Such effort will actively demonstrate to the local, state and national audience that The University of Southern Mississippi places a great premium on meeting the needs of our veterans and their family members," said Hammond. "USM gratefully appreciates the splendid opportunity to work together with the Mississippi Veterans Affairs Board in making a difference for such a special group of American and Mississippi citizens."

Since she began working as a Veterans Service Officer in July 2015, Carr said she is always eager to help veterans learn about the many resources available to them because many are unaware of the benefits they have.

As a veteran, Carr said she can easily put herself in their shoes and understand their needs and wants.

"As another veteran who understands, they can come to me and say, 'it's like this for me; what do I need to do; where do I need to go?' Then I can point them in the right direction of the resource they need," said Carr. "I try to let them leave here with some type of satisfaction, some kind of resolution, to what they came to see me for."

For more information about MSVAB, visit www.vab.ms.gov. For assistance with military claims or questions, contact Annette Carr, Veterans Service Officer, at 228.214.3362 or at acarr@vab.ms.gov.