'We Remind Veterans … They’ve Earned These Benefits'

Ramondetta’s time in the military and other credentials, including case management experience, make him a great VFW-Accredited Service Officer

JT Ramondetta’s father, a retired Vietnam Air Force veteran, was very influential in his son’s decision to join the same branch of the military.

During a 16-year career, Ramondetta was stationed around the country and served overseas like his father before him. He had found his calling.

Air Force veteran JT Ramondetta“After 9/11, I deployed several times. I knew this was what I was meant to do and that the Air Force was where I was meant to be,” he said.

Retiring under the Temporary Early Retirement Authorization program, Ramondetta, 42, now lives in Idaho with his wife Danielle and three sons James, Joseph and Jesse.

Since March 2020, Ramondetta has worked as a VFW-Accredited Service Officer for the Idaho Division of Veteran Services. Previously a felony probation and parole officer, he worked alongside a service officer and became interested in the role.

Ramondetta’s time in the military and other credentials, including case management experience, made him a strong candidate for the job. So when a service officer position became available, he applied. Once again, he ended up where he was meant to be.

“It is by the grace of God that I’m working as a service officer, and I could not be happier,” he said.

For more than a year, Ramondetta worked from home because of COVID-19. With no on-the-job training, he described the first several months as “daunting,” but certainly worth the effort, especially now that his office has reopened.

“We started working in the office in July, and it has been great,” he said. “Being able to work face to face with clients is a much better learning experience.”

As a service officer, Ramondetta's responsibilities are many. They range from advocating on a client’s behalf and assisting with claims, to securing long-term care or filing appeals and conducting veteran outreach services outside the office.

Regardless of the task, Ramondetta cherishes the role.

“It’s very rewarding being able to help veterans and their families attain much-deserved compensation, benefits and other support,” he said.

“I’ve had several conversations with veterans who feel they don’t deserve anything, so they never bothered to see a service officer or contact the VA,” he explained. “We like to remind them that they signed on the dotted line, potentially, to step in harm’s way and make the ultimate sacrifice for their country. They’ve absolutely earned these benefits.”

Contact a VFW-Accredited Service Officer from your state, or learn more about the VFW's National Veterans Service (NVS) program here.