County hires VA officer

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The former Madisonville city manager took less than two weeks of retirement before starting his new job this month as the county’s veterans service officer.

Danny Singletary said he wasn’t sure what he was going to do when he retired at the end of the year, but he knew he wouldn’t be sitting around the house.

“My wife wouldn’t have allowed that,” he said.

It worked out well that Veterans Service Officer Neil Lindsey retired in December, and the county posted the job on its website. Singletary thought it would be a perfect fit.

He knew that numerous services are offered to Madison County veterans, but they don’t always know where or how to apply for them.

The service officer, who works in the county courthouse from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, assists veterans in applying for loans, filling out online applications and even driving them to appointments at the Veterans Administration hospital in Temple or the VA clinic in College Station.

“So much can be done online but many veterans don’t have access to the Internet or don’t know how to use it,” Singletary said.

He will earn an annual salary of roughly $10,000 and manage a budget of $26,371. As a county department head, he reports directly to the Commission.

The job appealed to the 67-year-old, who was drafted in 1971 to serve in the U.S. Army. He served in the fire direction center, where he and others would communicate to the firing squad by providing them data and telling them which way to aim. The only time he’s ever lived away from Madisonville was during those two years of active duty in Germany.

“You have to be a veteran to qualify for this job,” Singletary said. “[Otherwise] you would not have a grasp of what goes on or what their needs are. You could learn, but it helps tremendously to have the experience.”

That experience — and the fact that Singletary knows just about everyone in town – make him the ideal man for the job, according to his predecessor Lindsey.

“I’ve known him since he was born,” Lindsey said. “I think so much that he’s the right man for the job that I went and talked to the judge.”

Lindsey, 82, said he plans to make himself available during the transition, a sentiment Singletary said he appreciates.

“I have a lot to learn, but it won’t be nearly as stressful as walking into the city manager’s office,” he said. “I want to make services available and want to make things easier for our veterans.”

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