Goode provides benefit information for area veterans

Staff Writer

Annie Hines - Goode spent 27 years in the United States Army, then six years working in the Lowndes County Veterans Services Office as assistant to James Richard. She has been the head of the Clay County Veterans Services Office since February. She believes it is her mission to provide information and help to veterans who might not be aware of everything they are entitled to by serving their county.

Goode has served her country in the Reserves, the National Guard and the Active Guard Reserves.
"It is unique that I am a woman who retired as an Acting First Sergeant, Airborne, an ex-drill sergeant, recruiter, instructor and a pastor," Goode said.
She understands the needs of veterans and has access to the available resources to help them with the benefits that come with military service.

"The Korean War and Vietnam vets are stubborn," Goode said. "They do not want the help from the government that they are entitled to. They don't understand that it hurts their wives if they don't apply for everything that is coming to them. They are extremely proud of their service but spouses can't apply for benefits after the veteran passes away."
She said the younger veterans are more willing to apply for the benefits that are available.
"PTSD is real," Goode said. "It's not something made up. A lot of veterans come back and need help adjusting to civilian life. The Veterans Administration offers that help. I am more than happy to sit down and explain to a vet what his or her options are to receive the help they need. I am on a mission to help these veterans."

There are 1,108 veterans in Clay County. Goode would like to meet them all.
"I would like all of our veterans to understand they are eligible to receive home loans from the Mississippi Veterans Home Purchase Board," Goode said. "As long as they entered the military while living in Mississippi, or have been a resident of Mississippi for two consecutive years immediately preceding the loan application, and you must have your DD 214."
They offer fixed rate loan terms for 10, 15, 20, 25 and 30 year loans. It is a direct loan with affordable interest rates using the VA guarantee program.
"I would love to help any veterans who are interested in purchasing a home." Goode said. "I have the information for the contacts needed. That's what I'm here for, to serve those who have served."
Any veteran having a service connected, total disability and who has been honorable discharged from military service is exempt from ad valorem taxes on the value of the homestead property.
"So those who, during their service, became 100 percent disabled veterans they do not have to pay property taxes on the home and property where they reside," Goode said. "And it extends to their spouses, after their passing, that have not remarried. Not everyone knows this."

Veterans who are service connected, 100 percent disabled, are not required to purchase a hunting or fishing license.
"But, the veteran has to have on their person, proof of age, residency, and disability status," Goode said. "While engaging in the outdoor sports that otherwise requires a license."
There are many Mississippi motor vehicle tags that veterans may choose from to show their pride in their service.

"Those veterans who are 100 percent disabled are entitled to two free motor vehicle tags, which will display 100 percent disabled veteran," Goode said. "They have them for each branch of the military, those who have received a Purple Heart, Silver Star, Bronze Star, Congressional Medal of Honor, POWs, but only the 100 percent disabled veterans tag are free."
There are motorcycle tags for veterans and for those who wish to show their support for those who serve, there is an Honoring Veterans tag. It is regular price plus $30 with $24 going to support indigent veterans residing in State Veterans Nursing Homes. All military veteran tags are the regular license plate fee, plus $30. The $30 collected goes to support indigent veterans residing in State Veterans Nursing Homes.
For more information on the benefits available for honorably discharged veterans, call the Clay County Veterans Services Office at 494-1554.