VIDEO: Cabarrus welcomes new Veterans Services director
During his decade-long tenure at the W.G. Hefner VA Medical Center in Salisbury, Tony R. Miller became a go-to for veterans needing help navigating the sometimes winding path of federal assistance.
It wasn’t his job – he worked in research and academic affairs – but Miller was injured during his time in the Marine Corps and spent nearly 20 years going through those “trials and tribulations” himself, he says.
Veterans sought his help so much that upper management intervened, Miller says. From then on, he helped outside working hours. He took “smoke breaks” (he doesn’t smoke). He arrived early. He left late.
“I promised God that if I was able to get assistance, I would spend the rest of my life helping any veteran I could,” Miller says. Now, he can devote all his time to doing just that as the new director of Cabarrus County Veterans Services.
“It’s rewarding to see the difference it can make in people’s lives,” Miller says. “Coming here gives me the opportunity to have all the assets available to help veterans and their families.”
Miller was born in Salisbury, and spent time in Concord and Charlotte before returning to Rowan County and graduating from Salisbury High School.
After his departure from the Marines, Miller worked for several years at Piedmont Correctional Institute in Rowan County. He ultimately wanted to be a N.C. Highway Patrol trooper, but a service-related leg injury prevented it.
Miller worked in retail sales and management before joining the VA. He honed a strong customer service-minded approach while in retail, he says. That serves him well in his current role.
“It’s always been natural for me to open up to people, share my smile and give people the opportunity for comfort,” he says. “Great customer service is very important to me.”
Cabarrus County Veterans Services boasts an experienced staff and a new location at The Old Creamery (363 Church Street N.), and Miller wants to educate the public about all the services the department provides.
“I encourage veterans to stop by and speak with us about their military experience and give us a chance to find out if they qualify to receive benefits,” he says. “The main thing about me is … I’ll do whatever it takes to get things done with the resources we have here – we’ll fight to help each and every veteran and their families.”
Miller and his wife, Wanda, have four children and two grandchildren.
Cabarrus County Veterans Services provides free assistance with U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs programs, including:
• Veterans pension
• Survivors pension
• Veterans healthcare
• Survivor benefits
• Home loan guaranty
• Adult and Aging Services
• Senior resources
The department also offers a food pantry, and Miller is exploring the possibility of a clothing exchange – perhaps as a partnership with other local organizations -- to provide business attire for veterans.
For more information, click here or call 704-920-2869.