Vietnam Veteran and Veterans of Foreign Wars Post #8931 Commander Juan Antonio Perez is now the Duval County Veterans Officer with one goal in mind to help.

Perez’s first day was Monday. In between getting familiar with his office he began to visit with local veterans to discuss all the benefits available to them through his office and the government.

He served in the United States Army from 1970 to 1973. He fought in the Vietnam War and Germany.

“The world is not what it once was. Back in the 70s and 80s soldiers were not as respected as they are today,” Perez said. “Basically I’m here to help veterans, like myself, know and receive the benefits they earned.”

Soldiers have protected citizens by sacrificing their lives for the safety of the nation.

“I’ve always reminded veterans that they aren’t forgotten like before,” Perez said. “I need to make sure they know about all the benefits for themselves and their families.”

Before taking the part-time position Perez was already helping veterans throughout the VFW.

Part of his duties include working with soldiers with post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), getting veterans medical benefits, housing and transportation.

“Lots of times veterans just have troubled moments and need someone to talk to,” he said. “That’s where I come in."