The new director for Livingston County Veterans’ Services has plans for greater outreach moving forward.

Former Special Forces Communications Sergeant in the Army Adam Smiddy took over the role this past July. A 2004 Brighton High School graduate, Smiddy served active duty for several tours through 2013. He told WHMI he’s hoping to make his new office more involved than it ever has been before. Smiddy said his goal is to get out to the different places veterans are and not be as passive an office as it has been in prior years. He said they need to better get the word out that they exist and are there to help and serve those who served our country.

Starting in January, Veterans’ Services is going to begin operating a mobile office. Starting in Brighton, they will spend designated time at the VFW with a counselor available for veterans who don’t want or can’t make it out to the Howell office. The roving office will move all around the county, also making stops in Fowlerville, Hartland, Hamburg, and Pinckney. Smiddy also wants to kick start mental health services in the area. Currently, most of those services are only available through the Ann Arbor VA office, and transportation and time commitment have become a burden for many. Another area that Smiddy sees as having room for improvement in is homelessness. Veterans Services is looking into answers that could help solve the problem of the lack of affordable housing in the county for vets. With much of their clientele being from the aging population, Smiddy said they are looking at ways of helping the younger generation of veterans. As a result, a new program to help with child care costs will be starting soon.

Finally, he invited all veterans who may need help putting a meal on the table this Thanksgiving to come to the Howell office on Tuesday from 8am to 5pm. Those who do can receive a full turkey dinner courtesy of the Livingston Lamplighters. The Livingston County Veterans’ Services office is located at 2300 East Grand River, Suite 109, in Howell. (MK)