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Thompson retires from Veteran’s Office

CADIZ — After nearly 15 years of service, Jim Thompson has retired from the Harrison County Veterans Service Office in Cadiz.

A veteran himself prior to his work with the county, Thompson served 24 years in the U.S. Marine Corps. He began working for the office in 2004 shortly after retiring from the Marines.

Upon returning from an overseas deployment, he and fellow soldiers were greeted by a large crowd of people at the airport.

“When I can back from Desert Storm, it was really late at night. We were just happy to be going home. The captain of the plane came over the speaker and said that there were going to be some people out there to meet us. We were kind of surprised. We come off the plane and there were just people everywhere,” Thompson said. “It was amazing.”

He later found out that the men who greeted him and his fellow soldiers at the airport were Vietnam veterans who said they were not going to let veterans be treated the way they were treated upon their return home years ago.

“That always stuck in my mind when I heard about that,” he said.

Thompson said that occurrence led him in his decision to want help other veterans.

“Speaking with veterans and helping veterans every day” is what he said he enjoyed most in his job as a service officer for the county and also what he will miss most.

“The interaction with the veterans is the biggest thing. I was talking to veterans from WWII all the way up to present day veterans, so you never knew what you might be dealing with,” Thompson said.

He said he has helped veterans with Veterans Administration claims, health care and just with “daily life assistance.”

Thompson said he was happy and lucky to work in Harrison County. The county’s budget for veterans services is determined by the amount of property taxes collected, he said.

“With the oil and gas boom, it’s allowed a little more money to come in to the veterans office,” he said.

The veterans office was able to hire two new service officers in Thompson’s stead. He completed his last day of work shortly after Christmas on Dec 27.

Thompson said he is still “soaking in” his retirement, but his work around the county will not cease.

“I’m involved in the community and things going on in the county. I’m sure I’ll always stay busy with that,” he said.

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