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Veterans Affairs Coordinator Tara Goetz is Franklin County’s November Employee of the Month.

Franklin County Commissioners on behalf of the Special Thanks and Recognition (STAR) Committee presented the award to Goetz during a recent ceremony.

Goetz has worked for the county since June of 2015. She currently serves as a Veteran Affairs Coordinator. The STAR Committee selected the November 2019 Employee of the Month from nominations received from county employees. There were a total of twelve nominations.

The STAR nomination form asks what recent event or occurrence made you select Tara and the answers stated:

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Tara has been working with one of our local veterans for over two years.

The 98-year-old WWII veteran sought help in getting a Bronze Star he had earned but never received. The request was out of the ordinary, differing from requests for replacements of metals already approved and received.

Researching Then Advocating

Tara’s research helped with the task. She was thorough with an investigation into the veteran’s background. She went through all of his information to ensure its accuracy.

Then she advocated on the veteran’s behalf, going through countless hours of paperwork and documentation requests. She completed all the required submissions and more.

Tara conducted over 10 phone interviews and inquiries on behalf of the veteran to prove that he was eligible and rated the Bronze Star. She Reached out to individuals throughout the United States as well as France.

She ran into many difficulties, since she had never gone through this process before, but refused to give up. Ultimately she made this dream a reality for the 98 year old WWII veteran.

The veteran often called Tara to express his fears about not receiving his medal before his death. She told him she would do everything she could to make it happen. And she did. 

What Tara did was above and beyond her normal responsibilities and duties.

The Veterans Affairs office routinely requests medals and awards veterans already received and have on file at the National Archives. It was the first time, however, it was asked to help a veteran get an award presented over 74 years after a veteran serves.

Goetz’s outstanding characteristics are attributes that have not gone unnoticed by her peers. The nomination form describes her as being a dedicated, selfless, and determined.

”We are grateful to Ms. Tara Goetz,” commissioners said. “She exudes a high standard of customer service, excellence, and respect to the employees and residents of Franklin County.”

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