About 10 members of the Veterans of Foreign Wars including Post Commander Sean Golder expressed their concerns about the hours and outreach availability of the county’s Veteran Service Officer Winston Murphy.

The VSO’s hours are 6:30 to 9:30 a.m. weekdays, plus 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. on Fridays.
At the county commission meeting on April 22, Golder said the concern of veterans is the office hours are not easily accessible for veterans – and the VFW members were critical of outreach efforts made by the VSO.
County Administrator David Edwards countered that it’s one month in of a six month trial period. Last year, Edwards said, Murphy saw 316 veterans, helped 313 of those, including 95 from Leon County.
“Winston is the best VSO that we’ve ever had,” Edwards said. At the same time, he did acknowledge that the office hours are inconvenient.
County Commissioner Fred Nichols, a veteran, went on the record to say he’s with the veterans. “I don’t like their hours,” he said, adding it should at least be 8 to 11 a.m.
County Commissioner Ralph Thomas, another veteran, said that Murphy was planning to leave the position but that the county administrator talked him into staying part-time.
Edwards insisted that his office needed documentation of complaints from veterans in order to assess the success of the VSO.
Golder said there had been “erroneous claims of county administrator” of not enough work for a fulltime VSO, but countered there are 2,400 veterans in Wakulla County – and 426 were using the VSO in Leon County, not Wakulla.
A week later, on April 29, Golder said he and some VFW members met with Murphy about what they could do to help with outreach efforts.
Golder and some VFW officials also attended the Veteran Townhall event in Sopchoppy on Thursday which was attended by a handful of people, including Commissioner Nichols.
Golder said the VFW remains committed to doing what it can to help veterans.