Every day is Veterans Day for VA director
Lindsay Zenner admits at the age of 24, sometimes it’s weird to think of herself as a veteran.
But she’s most definitely one after spending six years in the U.S. Air Force and she wants to help any or all of the 1,000 or so veterans in Chickasaw County receive what is rightfully coming to them.
“That’s my job, and I want all our veterans to realize when they need help, this office is here for them,” the county’s director of Veterans Affairs said. “I know I’m young, but I think my experience as a veteran helps. I have an understanding, I think, of what it’s like to serve.”
Zenner took over her position in July, almost five months after former Veterans Affairs Director Dave Jacobsen resigned.
During the position’s vacancy, the veterans received assistance from other counties and controversy erupted when it appeared former Chickasaw County Supervisor Rick Holthaus, who is not a veteran, would be offered the job.
That didn’t sit well with a number of veterans in the county, and although Holthaus said he had always been an advocate for veterans, he eventually withdrew his name for consideration.
“I think that’s one of the first thing they want to know, am I a veteran? I think once they understand that, yes, I am, we can really go to work,” Zenner said. “I’m learning a lot — the VA, the paperwork and all that can be really complicated — and I know I have a lot more to learn. But I’m getting there.”
She said she’s received a great deal of assistance from directors in Floyd and Mitchell counties — “they’ve really helped smooth the process for me”— and that her No. 1 goal in her first few months on the job has been to meet as many veterans as possible.
She’s attended a number of American Legion, VFW and AmVets meetings in an attempt to make contact with the county’s veterans.
For more of this article, see Friday's New Hampton Tribune.