Assistant Veteran Services Officer named VSO of the Year, among other awards

Staff Report

The Hays County Commissioners Court  congratulated Assistant Veteran Services Officer II Sasha Matthews for her recognition by the Texas Veterans Commission as County Veteran Services Officer of the Year during a special meeting on Dec. 23. She was also recognized with the Achievement Award for the Texas Veterans Commission Southwest District, and a statewide Claims Excellence Award for her stellar benefits advice to veterans in Hays County.

Texas Veteran Services Southwest District Manager Mike Jaeger, who oversees 54 counties, nominated Matthews for the awards. “Her expertise has helped the Hays County Veteran Services Office increase compensation coming in for veterans by $5.3 million,” Jaeger said.

“Sasha has been a key contributor to a more than 300 percent increase in productivity for our office,” County Veteran Services Officer Jude Prather said. “She is a calm, no-nonsense yet friendly proponent for our claimants, often going above and beyond to assist them, and has an impressive success rate. Her expertise has helped change a lot of veterans’ lives. Other county offices have tried to lure her away from Hays County to work her magic in their offices, and while so far they’ve failed at that she is always willing to offer them advice.”

“These awards caught me off guard,” Matthews said. “I never thought this would be something I would ever be recognized for. I started off as an intern here and from then knew what I wanted to do.  Our office is not only a place where we help veterans with claims, we are family.”

Matthews served more than three years as an Aircraft Avionics Technician before working on her degree at Texas State University, where she was also a work-study student at the Hays County Veteran Services Office. After four months she was hired as the Hays County Veterans Treatment Court Coordinator and during her year in that position she helped grow the court’s capacity by threefold.

In 2016 she returned to the County’s Veteran Services Office as an assistant VSO and has helped countless area veterans with their claims and benefits needs.

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