Assemblymember Irwin names John Jackson 2019 Veteran of the Year for the 44th Assembly District
CAMARILLO – John Jackson has served the veterans of Ventura County by working as a Veterans Claims Officer for the last 13 years. He was recognized as the 2019 Veteran of the Year for the 44th Assembly District at a ceremony in the district yesterday.
“John is a shining star in our community,” exclaimed Assemblymember Irwin. “His incredible commitment to helping the veterans in our region deserves this recognition at the state level.”
Jackson served in the Navy from January of 1974 to January of 1978. He broke both elbows during BUDS (Basic Underwater Demolition School – the start of SEAL training). Later, he rehabilitated and was able to become a Navy diver on board the USS Recovery (ARS 43) deploying for a variety of missions including construction, search and recovery. While serving aboard the USS enterprise, he worked on the flight deck; on board the USS Ranger he was assigned to the Aviation Boatswain Mate division.
Jackson earned an E-3FN rank and received a Good Conduct Medal during his time in the service, he eventually left the Navy and moved on to work in construction, became a regional manager for a SoCal cable company, and has now found a passion in working for Ventura County’s Veterans Service Office.
In his role as a veteran service officer, he operates seven field offices, and until recently, he conducted all of the home visits to clients not able to go in to the offices. In the past 12 years he’s connected thousands of veterans and surviving spouses with federal VA benefits. John significantly contributed to the successful management of a 13% increase in VSO caseload from the last fiscal year. His knowledge of claim activities and VetPro, the case management system, was instrumental in achieving a 99.4% accuracy rate for the 1,301 work load unit activities processed for the CalVet audit period from July – December 2018.
Jackson’s dedication significantly contributed to the CVSO connecting veterans to more than $10.5 million in one-time and annualized US Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) benefits in FY 17/18 (CA Association of County Veterans Service Officer annual report to the CA Legislature dated October 1, 2018). The estimated spending impact of those benefits is more than $31.5 million.
“As a claims officer I get to meet a lot of great people, true heroes, I like to listen to their stories and hardships,” said Jackson. “For me, it’s rewarding to be of service to those who gave so much for our country, and to let them know they are not forgotten, that they matter, and their service and everything it cost them is not taken for granted.”
John is a Ventura County resident.