Gage County is seeking a new Veterans Service Officer after an announcement that Philip Dittbrenner is leaving the position after 17 years.
The Gage County Board of Supervisors accepted Dittbrenner’s resignation during its Wednesday meeting. Dittbrenner said he resigned to try something different, and that he and his wife are looking to purchase a business in Beatrice.
“I’ll really just miss the veterans, working with them and helping them out,” he said. “That’s always been a goal and it’s been a good run. I’ve been blessed with working with good people and been able to move the office along. It’s time to get somebody in here to continue on and make their own way.”
Dittbrenner said after the application period, the Veteran Service Committee will conduct interviews and make a section, which will be recommended to the County Board for final approval.
The Gage County Veterans Service Office works to support veterans in several ways, including helping returning veterans with benefits, compensation claims, disability claims for veterans injured in service, assisting with funerals, supporting spouses after a veteran has passed away and working with life insurance.
Dittbrenner joined the Nebraska National Guard at 17 years old and went to basic training between his junior and senior years of high school.
He was on active duty in the Air Force for four years and served in Guam and other places overseas as a security policeman. He then worked at Stratford, Conn. where he guarded President Ronald Reagan’s helicopter while it was being refitted and serviced.
He went into law enforcement following his time in the service and was with the Beatrice Police Department for one year, followed by 14 years at the Gage County Sheriff’s Office before starting at the Veterans Service Office
Dittbrenner said his favorite part of the job has been getting to know Gage County veterans.
“I’ve enjoyed listening to the stories and talking to the guys,” he said. “When I got in, it was a lot of the World War II guys. That’s always been a passion of mine, the history of World War II, and to talk to the guys and gals who were actually there was really nice.”
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