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Inspired service guides Denton County veterans to benefits

Denton VCSO Powell Vietnam Wall

Huey Helicopters and F-4 Phantom models plus other Vietnam memorabilia greet those arriving to see Donald Phillips, Denton County Assistant Veteran Service Officer (ASVO)and Navy veteran.

“I see more Vietnam veterans than any other veterans,” said Phillips.

“What inspired me to create this wall was my uncle who was a Huey Pilot in Vietnam and was shot down 3 times. That’s where the Huey Helicopters come from and the F-4 Phantom is a dedication to Hank Schieble the man that hired me to be a Veteran Service Officer. Hank was a USAF Captain and the ‘Back Seat’ navigator. He flew missions in Vietnam and was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross.” The models and Vietnam Veterans Wall were made by Phillips and fellow Denton ASVO Spencer Kimball.

The Denton County Veterans Service Office assists area veterans of any era with over a dozen benefits and service programs.

“Success stories…….lots of them,” said Phillips, pictured. He recalled a Claims award which made it possible for a Vietnam veteran and his wife to payoff debts and purchases “and still have plenty left over for their grandchildren.”

“I filed an “Ischemic Heart Disease” Claim for the Vietnam veteran.  The veteran got service connected at 100% due to having ‘Congestive Heart Failure that was Chronic.’  VA Benefits awarded the Veteran about $190,000.00 in retro. The veteran and his wife were able to pay off their mobile home, credit card debt, bills, vehicles and still have plenty left over for their grandchildren.”

For veterans looking for or needing assistance, “It depends on what the veteran is trying to do.  If a veteran is wanting to file a compensation claim, I make sure that they understand that for the most part the issues that they want to file a claim for need to be chronic issues that were diagnosed while on active duty. Sometimes a veteran needs a “Link/Nexus” connecting current condition to service. I could go on and on but it would take me pages.”

Phillips has been a Denton ASO for 14 years. Prior to that “I am a 23 year all active duty retired US Navy Chief Petty Officer,” said Phillips.

He is on a team of six which serves Denton County. The team is headed up by Veteran Service Officer Paul Bastaich and includes ASVOs Eric Anders, Stella Bartlett and Administrative Specialist Jackie Rust, as well as Phillips and Kimball. The range of benefits and services they may assist with are listed below*. The Denton County Veteran Service Office is located at 1505 E McKinney Street, Suite 151 in Denton and may be contacted by calling (940)349-2950.

Pictured are Donald Phillips and his wife Lucy.

* Denton County Veteran Service Office provides assistance with the following services and benefits:

File Compensation & Non-Service Connected Pension Claims to VA Benefits for Veterans.

VA Health Care Enrollment

Texas Veterans Land Board

Education Benefits Summary

Vocational Rehab Benefits

VA Debt Waiver

Requesting Military Records

Review of Military Discharge

DVA Life Insurance Claim

Burial Benefits

Certificate of Eligibility for Home Loan

Survivor’s Benefits

The office has two Community Navigators that assist veterans with financial assistance and homelessness


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