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Ashe County Veterans History Project: Veterans Service Officer -- April Goodman

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April Goodman's Photos

April Goodman's Story

April Goodman lives in Ashe County and is an active member of Fletcher Baptist Church.  She is a member of the praise team and enjoys singing in the choir.  She loves spending time with family and her hobbies are camping, horseback riding, rodeos, and farming.

April reflects:

I began working for Watauga County Veterans Office in 2006, and over the years I have had the privilege of getting to know many veterans and their families.  As a service officer I have built many lifelong relationships with veterans.

When a veteran comes in my office, he/she shares their most private kept secrets/feelings and medical conditions due to service. For example, their fear of death, loss of a limb, honor of serving the country, trauma from service, and difficulty readjusting to life outside the military.

My job is to listen to their story and walk them through all of the paperwork the Department of Veterans Affairs requires.  The veteran sitting in front of me is not just a face. He/she is a friend that I advocate for. 

Over the years I have celebrated and mourned with veterans and their family.   Each veteran has their own unique story that has made an impact on my life. I was never physically able to serve, so I view my job as my way of giving back to those that did.

When a veteran passes I work with the widow/widower to see if she/he is entitled to benefits. This is an emotional time. Helping the widow/widower file for burial and death benefits is difficult, but when they leave the office they are assured everything it taken care of.

A Veterans Service Officer is more than a job. It’s a privilege. I am honored to serve the veterans of Watauga County.

My family does not take for granted the freedom we have because of those that so selflessly dedicated their lives to the armed forces. My husband, Donnie, retired from Boone Police Department with 20 years of service. And my daughter Alyssa is a sophomore at Ashe County High School; she is hoping to join ROTC when COVID-19 restrictions are lifted.