EATON — Terry Pendergraft served his last day as the Director of Preble County Veteran Services on Friday, May 31. He has been the director of Preble County Veterans Services since 2002, making it 17 years that he had the position.
As director of Preble County Veteran Services, Pendergraft has helped many local veterans file for their benefits. This helps both the veterans and Preble County as a whole. As benefits go to the veterans, the large majority of that money is spent in Preble County, according to Pendergraft.
Pendergraft recently took a group of 53 veterans and their families to Washington D.C. on the Veteran Services Trip. This was his last trip as Director of Veteran Services.
“It is kind of bittersweet. I love doing this and I know the right time to pass the torch is now. I will miss it deeply,” he said.
When he retires, Pendergraft plans to travel. He already has seven cruises booked for the next year and a half. He would also like to go to different locations within the United States.
The new director of Preble County Veteran Services is Cole French. Pendergraft believes that as he grows in the position, he will be successful with the support of the county veterans.
“It is going to be a lot for him going in. It is a very challenging position. You have the opportunity to afford your veterans the best care that any county can offer. You have a great board to work with, a great staff, and county commissioners who support you,” he said.
“As you grow with the job and your skills become equal to your position, I think you’re going to get rewards as you earn the trust of your veterans. You will be very successful.”
As he moves onto this next chapter of his life, Pendergraft is thinking of the veterans he is leaving behind fondly. He is leaving due to health issues and will always remember the years he spent serving Preble County Veteran Services.
“It has been a wonderful experience. It is bittersweet and I really don’t want to go, but I have some health issues and I want to leave the job on my terms. I want to leave the county in good hands. Now is the time for me to go,” he said.
“I would like to say that I hope that my service to [the veterans] was as good as I think it was. I am proud to have been able to help them.”
Reach Kelsey Kimbler at 937-683-4061 or on Twitter @KKimbler_RH