Desoto County News

Woods named new Veterans Service Officer

Joe Woods, Veterans Service Officer based in Hernando. (Courtesy photo)

Nearly 11,000 veterans call DeSoto County home. Those veterans faithfully served our nation, now Veteran Service Officer Joe Woods is available to serve those veterans from his office in Hernando.

DeSoto County Veteran Services provides support to veterans, service members, surviving spouses, and veterans’ families.  

“My job is to help veterans and their families receive any and all Federal and State benefits for which they are eligible,” said Woods.  “Many don’t realize they qualify for pensions, assistance, disability pay, and/or medical care.”

Veteran Service Officers help provide a lifeline to veterans and their families who are facing tough times.  

“A veteran’s widow recently came to my office asking for help with compensation for her husband’s burial,” said Woods.  “I discovered she was not only owed money for the burial, but also survivor benefits totaling nearly $12,000.”

“My husband is a retired Marine Colonel, so I know first hand how difficult it can be for military families and veterans.” said District Four Supervisor Lee Caldwell.  “The Board of Supervisors are thankful to have a State Veterans Service Officer working from our Administration Building to help the citizens of DeSoto County.”

As a veteran, Joe Woods understands how difficult it can be for veterans to navigate life after the military.  Joe retired from the Coast Guard after 22 years of service.  After assignments across the country, including time in Memphis, Joe decided to return to the area to retire in DeSoto County.  

“After two decades moving around the country, it is wonderful to call DeSoto County home,” said Woods.

Joe may have retired from the Coast Guard, but he wasn’t ready to stop working.  

“I decided to go back to school for a Bachelors in Professional Writing. While attending classes, the position for Veteran Service Officer became available,” said Woods.  “This is my dream job.  I love being able to help veterans and their families.”

Veteran Service Officers assist Veterans and their families by:

  • Answering questions, advising, and educating individuals and groups on what benefits are available from federal, state, county, and local resources
  • Assisting persons in completing and filing benefit claims
  • Representing individuals in VA hearings

Veteran Service Officers are trained to provide information on resources related to the following:

  • Compensation and Pension
  • Health Care
  • Education & Training
  • Employment
  • Burial & Survivor 
  • Housing
  • Transportation
  • Military Records

Woods is available Monday – Friday 8 a.m.-4 p.m.  His office is located at 365 Losher Street, Suite 205B, Hernando, MS 38632. Appointments are encouraged and can be made by calling 662-449-2811 or by emailing

DeSoto County News Service

Bob Bakken

Bob Bakken is the most recognized and most trusted name in DeSoto County news and sports reporting, as readers continue to express their appreciation for his accuracy and fairness in the stories he writes. Bob is also heard on 95.3 The Rebel twice a week with sports updates and high school football play-by-play broadcasts in the fall. A former newspaper editor and writer, his award-winning background also includes television news producing, sports media relations, and radio broadcasting.

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