In Salisbury, Governor McCrory announces new initiative for veterans and honors 103 yr old veteran

In Salisbury, Governor McCrory announces new initiative for veterans and honors 103 yr old veteran

SALISBURY, NC (WBTV) - Governor Pat McCrory spent a big part of Monday in Salisbury, honoring 103 year old veteran Claude Lyerly, and announcing a new state initiative for veterans.

Lyerly, a World War II veteran, was presented with the state's highest civilian honor, the Order of the Long Leaf Pine, by Governor McCrory.

Governor Pat McCrory has announced the establishment of NC4VETS, a new initiative to serve North Carolina's nearly 800,000 veterans, their families and the more than 120,000 active duty military, Guardsmen and Reservists that call North Carolina home.

The governor unveiled the program today during a visit to the North Carolina Veterans Home in Salisbury where he presented an Order of the Long Leaf Pine to World War II-era veteran Claude W. Lyerly, who recently celebrated his 103rd birthday. The governor also celebrated the 239th birthday of the United States Marines Corps with the assembled veterans and emphasized the importance of veterans to building North Carolina's future. 

"Veterans come to the state with a can-do spirit that will make North Carolina stronger and improve its quality of life," Governor McCrory said. "The NC4Vets initiative will help us attract and keep more veterans so North Carolina will be more than a duty station. It will be their new home."

 NC4Vets is a “one-stop-shop” information resource being launched by the North Carolina Department of Administration's Division of Veterans Affairs, in conjunction with the Departments of Health and Human Services, Commerce (NC Works) and other state agencies. 

The first major product of this collaboration is the NC4Vets Resource guide, an inter-agency catalog with 2,000 data points detailing job, education benefits and health services in every region of the state. The NC4VETS Resource Guide is part of a multimedia effort that includes a and toll-free call center: (844) NC4-VETS offering knowledgeable service officers to guide veterans to services that are closest to them.

“The NC4VETS initiative combines and simplifies the service offering from hundreds of federal, state, county and nonprofit programs in a way that has never been done before,” Governor McCrory said. “We've simplified and consolidated the offerings to one place: NC4VETS.  The goal is for NC4VETS to become the Google for veterans and their families” 

The NC4VETS rollout is part of a bigger interagency strategy that seeks to combine federal and state resources with the myriad nonprofits that have sprung up to serve veterans. For example, the state Division of Veterans Affairs has opened four new service offices inside of VA Medical centers in Asheville, Salisbury, Greenville and Wilmington. The opening of these four new offices represents a 30 percent expansion of the state's veterans office footprint, and it was achieved at no cost to North Carolina taxpayers.

“We are going where the veterans are,” said Ilario Pantano, director of the N.C. Division of Veterans Affairs and a U.S. Marine combat veteran. “The NC4VETS brand is an interagency fusion center. The new Resource Guide and our new offices in VA facilities are all executions of the governor's vision of agencies working together for our veterans. And we are just getting started.”