Writer & Photographer / Kara Kavensky
By law, each county across the state of Indiana has a dedicated Veteran Service Officer to help veterans navigate the complexities of its benefits system. Once Mayor Joe Hogsett was sworn into office and discovered this position was vacant, he appointed Capt. Matt Hall to the post.
“Matt Hall has been a welcome addition to the administration staff,” Hogsett says. “More importantly however, the fact that the county went so long without a Veterans Service Officer means that he has had to work hard to establish a vision and direction for our advocacy and outreach within the community. In that capacity, he has been invaluable, and Marion County veterans are lucky to have him.”
Hall not only serves as the Veteran Service Officer for Marion County, he is the Mayor’s representative on the Action Council for Veterans.
Hall currently serves with the U.S. Army Reserve. He enlisted in the Army, with his parents’ permission, at the age of 17. Preferring to stay within the Army’s tactical training versus the strategic level, Hall became an infantry officer. Deployed to Afghanistan during 2006 and 2007, Hall served as an embedded tactical trainer with Afghan soldiers. In that capacity, Hall worked with a Special Forces unit, which, among other duties, brought in individuals to embed with Afghans. Hall met with locals and trained them as a militia. His second deployment to Afghanistan was during 2009 and 2010 after joining the Indiana National Guard. This time he served as an Infantry Company Commander guarding three bases in Kabul.
Hall met his wife, Carolyn, a lawyer from Indianapolis, while on leave in 2007. Not long after they married, Hall was deployed. After traveling most of his life, Hall can safely claim to be a Hoosier. He and Carolyn now have a 3-year-old daughter.
Hall is still a member of the Indiana National Guard, and is the only veteran on the 25th floor of the City County Building. There are an estimated 100,000 veterans in Marion County with only 63,000 registered with Veterans Affairs, indicating that more than 30 percent are not. This provides opportunity for Hall, who takes an aggressive stance representing veterans.
Navigating the waters with Veterans Affairs can be a daunting task. The role of the Veteran Service Officer is to assist, educate and advocate on behalf of veterans.
Not only is Hall helping veterans with benefits available to them right now, he is working with the City of Indianapolis administration to expand those benefits to include free parking and bus passes.
“We are working on a cooperative effort to help with veteran homelessness as well,” he adds. “We touch every facet of society: male, female, rich, poor, gay, straight, and every race. All are treated with the same dignity and respect they deserve.”
Hall seeks to create positive impact with his position as Veteran Service Officer. Publicly he represents the 25th floor, but being a veteran himself with 22 years devoted to serving our country, he stands for so much more.
Please visit: www.in.gov/dva/2370.htm, email email@example.com or call 317-327-3145 for additional information.