J.R. Clairborne appointed director of new Tompkins veterans services office

first_img Tagged: JR clairborne, loaves and fishes, tompkins county legislature, veterans, veterans service agency ITHACA, N.Y. — J.R. Clairborne has been appointed to direct the new Office of Veterans Services in Tompkins County, which will connect local military veterans to federal and state services.J.R. Clairborne. (Provided Photo)Clairborne has served as the advocacy coordinator for Loaves and Fishes of Tompkins County since 2012. He has also worked in marketing and communications for Cornell University and Ithaca College, as a reporter and assistant editor for the Ithaca Journal, and served on Ithaca Common Council for 10 years. He served eight years in the United States Navy and U.S. Naval Air Reserve, where he achieved the rank of Petty Officer Third Class; Aviation Boatswain’s Mate – Handler.Clairborne is currently affiliated with the Community Housing Development Fund, United Way of Tompkins County, the Tompkins County Public Information Advisory Board and also sits on the board of directors for The Ithaca Voice. At Tompkins County Legislature on Tuesday, where legislators unanimously confirmed Clairborne for the post, Tompkins County Administrator Jason Molino said Clairborne was selected for the position from a pool of 37 applicants. Clairborne is the husband of Tompkins County Legislator Leslyn McBean-Clairborne, who excused herself from the confirmation vote. She will also step down from the Health and Human Services Committee, which will oversee the new veterans office.Hope on the Homefront: A 10-part series on Ithaca veterans’ return to civilian lifeClairborne, who is expected to start in late July, will connect local veterans to services available through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.There are about 4,100 veterans in Tompkins County, according to deputy administrator Lisa Holmes, who gave a presentation on the subject in January. Clairborne will help veterans access a wide range of benefits and services they are eligible for, including disability compensation, health care, educational and vocational rehabilitation and home loan guarantees, as some examples. Tompkins County Legislature put aside $100,000 in the 2019 budget to hire a director and set up a veterans service agency, which is required under New York State Executive Law.During public comment at the January meeting, members of the public said they hope the new director will actively forge connections and help connect with veterans who have fallen through the cracks.“To say I am excited to serve our veterans’ community in this way is an understatement,” Clairborne said. “It is a humbling honor to be selected by our county’s leaders to step up for the benefit of the men and women who have donned a uniform in service to our nation, as well as their families.”Featured image: Tompkins County Veterans Day Parade 2018. (Kelsey O’Connor/The Ithaca Voice) center_img Kelsey O’Connor Your government news is made possible with support from: Kelsey O’Connor is the managing editor for the Ithaca Voice. Questions? Story tips? Contact her at [email protected]cavoice.com and follow her on Twitter @bykelseyoconnor. More by Kelsey O’Connor last_img read more