After serving Vilas County veterans for the past six yars, Colonel Michael Biszak announced he will be leaving the post as Veterans Service Officer (VSO) the end of April.
He has 27 years of service in the Marine Corp with eight deployments and described his office duties as informational and and educational with most inquires about health care. “Our Vilas County veterans are mostly Vietnam and Korea with a few WWII. Every year we get from 90 to 100 new veterans retiring from southern Wisconsin and Illinois and moving here and they are most interested in hospitalization and health care.”
Biszak said there are two places for veterans for health care, the VA hospital in Iron Mountain and the VA clinic in Rhinelander. Benefits do not apply to reserves or national guard unless they have been activiated by federal order. “Veterans tell me they receive excellent service at Iron Mountain VA hospital and we can provide transporation if needed,” he said. “Hearing loss is the most common condition I hear but any service injury is elgible. Some veterans are eligible for pensions and surviving spouses can also qualify for pension payments.”
The least unjoyable part of his job is phone calls from funeral homes indicating a veteran has passed “but there are some buriel benefits for veterans.” He hopes the next VSO could to more educational outreach so veterans are notified what benefits are available to them. As for his future plans, Colonel Biszak says his passport has expired and he has no plans to renew it, just lowering the fish populations in Vilas County.