Ruth White insists that each day she reported to work for the West Virginia Department of Veterans Assistance, she was saying thank you to an extraordinary group of West Virginians.
“I viewed my job as my way of saying thanks to those who served to keep us free and safe,” said White, a 32-year veteran of the department.
White, of Lewisburg, is retiring due to health concerns following a career that began in 1984 when she was hired as an office assistant in what was then called the West Virginia Department of Veterans Affairs. Following several job promotions, White is retiring as supervisor of the Department of Veterans Assistance’s field office in Lewisburg.
“Over my 32 years, there are many, many highlights, each of which is special to me in its own way,” White said. “I enjoyed getting to know my veterans and their families and shared many smiles, laughs and tears with them. I have been able to help as many as three generations of veterans in the same family.”
White is one of the longest-tenured of West Virginia’s roughly 300 Department of Veterans Assistance employees. The department operates 16 field and claims offices throughout West Virginia and one in Pittsburgh. The majority of White’s constituents live in Greenbrier, Pocahontas, Summers and Monroe counties. She also has served veterans who live in Virginia.
“Ruth White has a special place in the hearts of many, many veterans that live in eastern West Virginia,” said Billy Wayne Bailey, who has served as the Department’s deputy secretary since 2011.
“Everyone knows Ruth. She cares about veterans, she works on their behalf, and there is probably no way to count the number of veterans who have received help, benefits and guidance during the past 32 years because of Ruth’s work.”
White’s lengthy service is an exceptional example of the work that veterans service officers perform across West Virginia, Bailey said.
“Our veterans service officers work quietly and efficiently. As a whole, they are responsible for bringing in millions of dollars in benefits to West Virginia veterans. And Ruth is right when she says we are saying thank you to the people who served us,” Bailey said.
“We are grateful for Ruth’s service, and we will miss her.”