Assemblywoman Suzette Valadares toured the Santa Clarita Valley Veterans Center on Lyons Avenue Friday afternoon.
She met with Jeff Stabile, director of the SCV Veteran Services Collaborative, as well as two board members — Patti Ryan and Jonathan Ahmadi — and two center volunteers, Fred Frowner and Steve Ends, who are both veterans.
Stabile told Valladares that the center needs a veterans service officer, or VSO, who can initiate paperwork for veterans seeking support.
“At least 20%-30% of people are looking for VSO service,” he said. “So that’s a big need.”
Valladares said she has a long history of military service in her family, ranging from grandfathers to aunts, uncles and cousins.
“I’ve been working on trying to be supportive and working for veterans for a long time because of my family,” she said. “I used to work for former Congressman Buck McKeon when he was chairman of the Armed Services Committee, so I’m keenly aware of what (our armed services) do (and) of the sacrifices that they make so that we can be free.”
Valladares reviewed the center’s food bank, library and other resources during her tour before sitting down with the Collaborative officials to learn more about the needs of the local veteran community.
“I’m excited to be here and help with any resources I can give,” she said, praising the collaborative members for their leadership. “(I’m) happy to be able to leverage my office and be a liaison for the center, as well.”