County, community support veterans in many ways

Jackson and Jefferson counties claim on their boundary signs on I-5, "We Honor Veterans." What is the story of that message informing travelers of our act? And do veterans receive any particular honors, acknowledgments or positives in our county?

— Ben, Ashland


Our local sign was authorized by a board order of the Jackson County Commissioners as part of a collaborative effort with the Jackson County Veterans Advisory Committee with support from various local veterans groups, says Jackson County Veteran Services Office Manager Bob Carson.

As for whether there is any substance to the sentiment expressed, he says, "The sign was not just posted and left alone. The county as an organization backs it up with money and action."

The county has long given generous support for a veteran services program that helps veterans and their survivors file for benefits from the federal Department of Veterans Affairs. The program has about 6,000 client visits per year, Carson says.

The county invests about $500,000 into the program, which helps Jackson County veterans and survivors receive about $100 million annually in compensation and pension benefits. That money then circulates in the economy, he says.

In addition to helping veterans, Carson notes, "The program really is an economic development program for the community."

Carson says the sign is not just about what the county government does for veterans.

"It really is about the people of Jackson County as a whole," he says.

Those honoring veterans include veterans and community groups, people who give to veterans causes and those who attend funerals to honor veterans who have died with no family members to attend. Veterans are also honored during ceremonies throughout the year, or during simple moments when someone personally thanks a veteran for his or her service, Carson says.

"No, the sign isn't about the government. It is about the community," he says.

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