By Mike Kruzman /

Livingston County Veterans Services is offering assistance to veterans and wants to know how they can further help.

One of the biggest obstacles for Veterans Services is that they don’t get any information from the state or locally on who and where the veterans in Livingston County are. Director Mary Durst says they only have information for people that have come in to their office, and that they’d love for all veterans to get in contact with them. She said there are a lot of misconceptions about the department, with one being that they only provide emergency services.

Durst told WHMI, “We have programs for those people, but our office is here for all veterans. We have perks. We’re here to serve an exclusive group of people who signed their life away to the U.S. government. They should be proud to come here and say, ‘What kind of perks can I get?’ We’re here for more than helping you in emergency situations.”

Local veterans can get day-to-day transportation anywhere within Livingston County for medical appointments or to the Ann Arbor VA. Veterans’ Services also covers the costs for mental health assessments and has computers available for tele-health appointments.

Durst said they want to offer more programming to help and enhance veterans’ lives, and a big key to that could be securing a new headquarters. Currently, Veterans’ Services is operating out of 1,200-square feet in the county’s East Complex Building. This has made it more difficult to run off-hours and weekend events as they’d like to do. They were close to securing space in a vacant commercial building in Genoa Township, but that deal fell through in the 11th hour. Durst said that while they were upset, “something better always comes along.” They have entered talks with Cleary University over space there that would, as Durst said, help them branch out, be more versatile, and be more available to veterans.

She encouraged all veterans to get in contact with them so they can inform them on how they can help, while also gathering feedback on what they’d like to see from the department. Durst said she’d like to see the department move more in the direction of a veteran community center or social work center. She said that anything a veteran needs, especially if they don’t know who to reach out to, they can reach out to them. Durst said, “If we can’t help them, we’ll find somebody who can. We’ll give them a warm handoff. We don’t ever want to say we don’t offer that service and we can’t help you with that. My goal is to be there with all the veterans all the time, and if we can’t do it directly, we’ll find a way to make it work.”

Contact Livingston County Veterans’ Services by phone at (517) 546-6338, or (833) LIV-VETS. Email durst at

Tune in to WHMI’s Viewpoint this Sunday morning at 8:30 to hear more from Durst and all that’s going on with Veterans’ Services.