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Tuesday, February 27, 2024
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COMMUNICATION AND CRAYONS

In a recent article, I made a not-so-clear com­ment about eating crayons. Someone then in­quired about my welfare, expressing concern about my dietary habits. I quickly realized that not everyone understood my waxy quip. A thanks to JS for pointing out my oversight and interest in my wellbeing.

“Crayon eater”, a derogatory term for Marines, apparently started around 2010. Based on the stereotype that Marines are unintelligent, sug­gesting we eat crayons and drink glue. I have witnessed Marines eat and drink items likely unimaginable to the average person, but crayons and glue are not on the list. My service predates the term by more than a decade. However, I have embraced this trope like a badge of honor. I keep a battle pack of 120 crayons in my office for emergencies.

Oscar Mike (On the Move), both figuratively in this article and literally in the Lake County Service Center. I revealed last week that Lake County Veterans Services is relocating from the basement to the main level. Melissa and I will no longer be sharing an office. Our new offices are located just off the main lobby to the right (north) as you enter.

The new space is access controlled (locked).

We are requesting everyone first make an appoint­ment. We struggle with the challenges of an open-door policy. We have a finite workday in which we must strategically allocate time to managing appointments, walk-ins, answering phone calls and emails, maintaining security and privacy, as well as case/claim tasks providing benefits to our Veterans/families. A CVSO may have a 50-per­son caseload with each case requiring 12 hours or more to complete.

We do not want to discourage anyone from reaching out to us, quite the contrary. The large backlog of caseload equates to our effectiveness in communicating and educating everyone on the services we provide. Ultimately, aiding us in ac­complishing my career goal of connecting with every Veteran in Lake County.

A simple process and resources will be avail­able should someone walk in without an appoint­ment. A phone is available in the lobby to call us and determine if we are available at that time. If we are not, then please leave a message so we can contact you to schedule an appointment.

Perhaps future articles will contain colorful, hand-drawn illustrations in an attempt to more ef­fectively communicate. I may again have to ask for forgiveness, as I was raised not to play with my food.

Brad Anderson and Melissa Crandall are the Lake County Veterans Service Officers and can be reached at 218.834.8326 or cvso@co.lake.mn.us Karen Christianson is the Cook County Vet­erans Service Officer and can be reached at 218.387.3639, or  karen.christianson@co.cook.mn.us

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