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Veterans Services: Your Benefits Advocate

Navigating the array of benefits you are eligible for after your military career has ended can be daunting. However, Buncombe County’s Veterans Services specializes at ensuring you are getting all of your benefits and will act as an advocate on your behalf.

For example, retired Army Capt. Patricia Jurgens served our country for 27 years but had issues accessing the full potential of her benefits. That’s when she contacted Veterans Services and Walt Ward went to work. “I have had many issues concerning my disability awards and pay. Even though my claims kept being denied, Mr. Ward persevered on my behalf,” exclaims Captain Jurgens. “In spite of the complications, he was always willing to spend extra time with me. He was finally successful in getting the corrections made that resulted in my receiving benefits I would have never received had it not been for his efforts.”

Walt, an Air Force veteran, previously worked for Veterans Affairs and says the extra effort is just part of his job. “Veterans were willing to put their lives on the line, if required, to protect our nation. They deserve our gratitude and our addressing their needs and disabilities arising from their service to the country,” explains Walt. “Sometimes the best we can do is to give them an honest assessment of why they are not eligible for benefits. I personally like to focus on difficult claims involving complex regulations because my VA employment background may be helpful in cutting through the regulatory red tape.”

It never hurts to make sure you are utilizing all potential benefits owed to you. “Walt has definitely made a difference in my life, and I am sure other veterans have benefited greatly from his assistance,” notes Capt. Jurgens. If you, or someone you know, qualifies as a veteran, the County can assist with the following:

  • Disability compensation.
  • Nonservice connected pension via the Income Dependent Program.
  • Enrollment assistance for health care services.
  • Widow benefits like DIC, widow’s pension, and burial benefits.
  • Homeless assistance with a variety of agencies such as VAMC and Homeward Bound.
  • Education supplements through the GI Bill, Post 9/11 GI Bill, Forever GI Bill, and other resources.
  • Records assistance with National Personnel Records Center, DD214, and Service Treatment Records.
  • Help with Certificate of Eligibility for VA-backed home loans.
  • State benefits such as tax exemption, license plate, hunting and fishing licenses, scholarships.

You can contact Buncombe County’s Veterans Services at (828) 250-5726, find information online here, or email the staff at

Locate & Contact

Veterans Services


Veterans Services
P: (828) 250-5726

Veterans Services Office
40 Coxe Avenue
Asheville, NC 28801

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Veterans Services Director
Heath Smith

County Veterans Service Officers
Ellen White
Sherry Manning
Walt Ward

Operating Hours

Monday - Friday
8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

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