Madison County has a new veteran service officer to fill the seat left vacant following the death of longtime officer Dr. Tom Logue.

Supervisors hired Mendal Kemp to take the part-time position. His rate of pay is $2,083.34 per month.

Kemp is a Vietnam War veteran who served as a non-commissioned officer. He was on tour in August 1968-1969.

After the Vietnam War, Kemp worked for the Mississippi Health Department for 23 years as director of licensing and certifications for health facilities. He later worked as an administrator of a psychiatric hospital before entering the private sector. He also worked for the Mississippi Hospital Association.

“I like to work with veterans,” Kemp said. “I like to help people. There are quite a few veterans in Madison County.”

He said he is mostly working with Korean War and Vietnam War veterans now, but he is seeing an influx in Gulf War veterans.

“There’s a a lot to do,” Kemp said. “I want to reach out to all the veterans and let them know I am there and I’d be glad to help them become aware of the benefits they might be entitled to.”

Kemp said a lot of the younger veterans are going online or direct to the VA for assistance. He said that some may have questions about what they qualified for though, and that’s what he can help with.

“A lot of them have a service-related illness,” he said. “They may have gotten 30 percent disability. They may be entitled to 70 percent disability. You just have to look at the situation.”

He plans to host a town hall meeting this summer to address veterans services.