Goode ready to help vets in Clay County

Annie Hines-Goode says the Clay County Veterans Services Office is available to help veterans with benefits and other issues with the Veterans Administration. (Photo by Donna Summerall, DTL)
By: 
DONNA SUMMERALL
Staff Writer

Annie Hines-Goode never thought she would be working in West Point.

She spent 27 years in the United States Army, then six years working in the Lowndes County Veterans Services Office as assistant to James Richard. Goode never thought about leaving Lowndes County.

"James retired and they were considering making that position and the secretary position full - time," Goode said. "I'm a disabled veteran and I cannot work full time. But they never seemed to want to decide about the hours, they never made it permanent. I resigned because I didn't know what my future would be there. I didn't know what I would do next."

Goode received a call from Chancery Clerk Amy Berry, who was looking for information for a veteran in Clay County.

"That phone call is why I am here," Goode said. "Amy told me the position was open here, but it was part-time. That was perfect. God always leads me where I need to go. Not only do I have the hours I needed, I'm in charge."
Goode moved into her office upstairs in the Clay County Courthouse Tuesday.

"I'm waiting to get the password to my computer from Treva Hodge," Goode said. "But I am ready to serve the veterans to the best of my ability."

Goode has served her country in the Reserves, the National Guard and the active Guard Reserves.

"It is unique that I am a woman who retired as an Acting First Sergeant, Airborne, an ex-drill sergeant, recruiter, instructor and a pastor," Goode said.

She then said she understands the needs of veterans and has the resources to help them with the benefits that come with military service.

"The Korean War and Vietnam vets are stubborn," Goode said. "They do not want the help from the government that they are entitled to. They don't understand that it hurts their wives if they don't apply for everything that is coming to them. She can't apply after they pass away."

She said the younger veterans are more willing to apply for the benefits that are available.

"PTSD is real," Goode said. "It's not something made up. A lot of veterans come back and need help adjusting to civilian life. The Veterans Administration offers that help. I am more than happy to sit down and explain to a vet what his or her options are to receive the help they need. I am on a mission to help these veterans."

There are currently 1,108 veterans in Clay County. Goode would like to meet them all.

"I don't have any of the previous files," Goode said. "So if you come to my office please bring your DD Form 2144 and Award Letter. I don't have any of that information. So we will start from ground zero."

Clay County Veterans Services Office, upstairs in the Clay County Courthouse, is open from 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. Tuesdays and Wednesdays, and Thursdays 8 a.m. - noon.  Making an appointment is encouraged, Thursdays walk-ins are accepted until 11 a.m.

For more information or to make an appointment, call 662-494-1554.

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