Dallas County veterans received over $17.6 million in federal funds in 2013

In December of 2008, Ed Vos retired as Master Sergeant with over 20 years of military service.

Despite an impressive military resume, Vos would much rather spend his time talking about the veterans of Dallas County. Since March of 2011 Vos has served as Dallas County Veterans Affairs Director.

During the 2013 fiscal year, Dallas County veterans received over $17.6 million in federal funds. While that seems like a large amount, Vos feels that there is much more available to veterans and dependents that are not taking advantage of VA services and programs.

"Even if they think they are not eligible or worthy of a VA program, there’s probably something out there," Vos said. "Maybe qualifications have changed or their situation has changed. They may be perfectly healthy for decades and then have a late onset situation because of Agent Orange exposure."

Vos works full time at the Dallas County Veterans Affairs Office, located at 902 Court Street in Adel.

"I tell people it’s a one-stop shop for veterans benefits," said Vos. "It’s the one place that has all the information available whether it’s a county, state or federal program."

With laws, programs and situations always changing, Vos encourages Dallas County veterans to schedule an appointment to meet with him so he can make sure they are getting the assistance they are entitled to.

Vos mentioned many vets may feel that they don’t qualify for a VA program but could be surprised.

"Anyone who served on active duty who develops ALS (Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, often referred to as Lou Gehrig’s Disease) at any time during their life can receive compensation and care from the VA. It’s presumed to been caused by the service. It doesn’t matter if it was war time service or not."

In June, Vos was named Sergeant of Arms for the National Association of County Veterans Service Officers as well as accepting a spot on the NACVSO legislature committee. The NACVSO is headquartered in Washington, D.C. and composed of county veteran service officers from around the United States.

According to the organization, a county veteran service officer has a compassionate understanding of the problems which confront veterans, widows, widowers and children. The officer knows the extent, the meaning and the application of laws that have been passed by the U.S. Congress in the interests of veterans and their dependents. They also know the rules and regulations adopted by the Department of Veterans Affairs to clarify and implement those laws. The county veterans service officer will apply specialized knowledge in the best way suited to the needs of every individual veteran or other beneficiary who comes to the office for assistance.

The Dallas County Office of Veterans Affairs consists of the Executive Director (Vos) and three commissioned members that serve on the board.

Board Chairman Richard Felt served in Korea while Donald Bringle served in Vietnam and Board Secretary Susan Piel served in the Gulf War.

The Veterans Affairs Office (902 Court Street, Adel) is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Appointments are recommended. The phone number is 515-993-5809.

Ed Vos bio

Vos served on active duty with the United States Marine Corps from 1986-1990. He was a member of the Marine Security Forces, Atsugi Naval Air Facility, Japan. In 1989, he deployed to the western Pacific aboard the USS Tarawa as an Infantry Fire Team Leader, 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit Special Operations Capable (MEUSOC).

In May of 1991, Vos enlisted in the Iowa Air National Guard, 132nd Fighter Wing, Vehicle Operations, was called to state active duty for the floods of 1993 and was selected the United States Air National Guard Transportation Non-Commissioned Officer of the Year in 1995.

Vos transferred to the 132nd Security Forces Squadron in January of 1997. In May of 2000, he deployed as a Security Forces Area Supervisor to Incirlik Air Base, Turkey, as a part of Operation Northern Watch. He was called to 14 months of active duty the morning of Sept. 11, 2001. In October of 2001 he deployed as an Area Supervisor and Law Enforcement Supervisor to Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho.

In May of 2005, Vos was the top graduate of the Air Force Chaplain Assistant School, Maxwell Air Force Base.

In March of 2007, Vos deployed to the 379th Air Expeditionary Wing, Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar. He was selected the United States Air National Guard Chaplain Assistant of the Year for 2007.

In January 2008, he deployed to the 451th Air Expeditionary Group, Kandahar, Afghanistan. While there he provided tactical security for Chaplains of the U.S. Army’s 82nd and 101st Airborne Divisions and for the Air Force Office of Special Investigation on "outside the wire operations."

In December of 2008 he retired as Master Sergeant with over 20 years of military service.

In April of 2012, Vos graduated Magna Cum Laude from Grand View University with a Bachelors of Arts Degree in Organizational Studies, with a Leadership Concentration and a minor in Mass Communication.

Vos’ wife, Angie, is an Iraq War veteran, retiring as the 132nd Fighter Wing Command Chief Master Sergeant following 27 years of military service.