The Nevada County Veterans Services Office (NCVSO) was established in 1956, and was created to assist the veterans and their families of Nevada County obtain the federal, state, and local benefits that they are entitled to.
County Veterans Services Offices are often the first contact that a veteran makes when initially applying for benefits with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Because we are often the first contact for a veteran, the NCVSO works in collaboration with state agencies, local Veterans Service Organizations, and the VA to ensure that we are providing the highest quality of services to our veterans.
The NCVSO understands that the veterans who seek services from our office expect to be assisted by highly knowledgeable and courteous staff. To make certain that we meet these expectations, the NCVSO has developed a comprehensive training program that is unique to other CVSO's in the state and keeps our staff fully informed on all the benefits that are available to veterans. Additionally, the NCVSO has collaborated with the Madelyn Helling Library to build a library of medical studies that can be used to assist the veterans of Nevada County with filing a more complete claim with the VA that has a higher opportunity for success.
Last, the NCVSO strives to provide an atmosphere that is welcoming to all veterans and their families. In our office on any day of the week, you will be treated to entertainment, food, refreshments, and reading materials while you wait to be assisted by one of our staff members.
David West - Veterans Services Officer
David West is the Veterans Services Officer for Nevada County and he served honorably for five years in the United States Marine Corps. David is familiar with the struggles that veterans face when transitioning from the military service back to civilian life and uses his own life experiences to connect with the veterans of our county.
David previously worked for the Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA) as a Rating Veterans Services Representative (RVSR) who made decisions on claims for compensation that veterans filed with the VBA. While working for the VBA, David also was selected to be a centralized trainer who taught newly hired employees how to properly process veterans claims for compensation. However, in 2012 he moved to Bakersfield, CA to start a family and he began a career in the Oil & Gas Industry. It was here that David learned the principles of process improvement and learned the importance of using data to influence decisions. David uses these past experiences to ensure that the veterans of Nevada County are receiving the highest quality of services and that the VSO is continually seeking avenues to improve the services that it provides.
Traci Hart - Veterans Services Representative
Traci Hart is a Veterans Service Representative for the Nevada County Veterans Office. She graduated with Honors from William Jessup University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Developmental Psychology in 2011. Following her graduation, she began working with high-risk youth with the Nevada County's Department of Probation and has a decade of experience working in areas of behavioral cognitive therapy, trauma therapy, and identifying negative mental health symptoms with an emphasis on suicide prevention.
Traci has many close friends and family members who have served in the US Military. She has always had a great respect for the men & women who have risked their physical and mental well-being to protect the freedoms that we enjoy. Traci has witnessed her friends transition back from the military into the civilian world, and these personal experiences have given her first hand perspective on the obstacles that veterans can encounter on their journey.
Traci is fourth generation resident of Nevada County, and she has always had a special place in her heart for the homeless and assisting those who are in need. Even when she was a child, Traci could be found coordinating outreach events or volunteering with local organizations to assist those in need at the many community functions she participated in. Because of her diverse background and passion for assisting Veterans that are homeless and/or are at risk for becoming homeless, she has been given the role as our "Underserved Outreach Coordinator. Traci collaborates weekly with eight different agencies as part of Nevada County's efforts to reduce our homeless veteran population to functional zero by June 2022, and this unique approach has reduced our homeless veteran population from 29 in June, 2021 to our current count of 16.
Tera Ireland - Veterans Services Representative
Tera Ireland became a member of the Nevada County Veterans Services Office in October of 2021. She was asked to join our staff because of her previous experience as a VSR and a strong background in determining eligibility for Medi-Cal benefits.
Tera was raised in part by a retired Navy Seal that was in UDT serving both WWII and the Korean wars. He taught her many core values that she lives by today and and he is defiantly her own personal superhero. Because he served as President and his wife as President of the Ladies Auxiliary of their local VFW, Tera has been a member of the VFW since she was a child. She grew serving many steak dinners, making and selling poppies, all while following her grandfather to countless potlucks and meetings.
She went on to marry a Navy Sailor and they travelled to different installations and she lived the life of your typical military spouse while raising children. Tera is a proud mom of two boys and is very involved in their many activities. She takes part in their football, basketball, drums, Cub Scouts, and most recently leadership activities. She a Board Member and a Scout Leader and loves to volunteer for anything she has the time for.
Tera also has a passion for serving the elderly population. She realizes that they have abundant wisdom, deep character and become some of the most underserved and forgotten veterans as they age. Because of her diverse background, Tera is working as our Elderly Veteran Outreach Coordinator and visits our elderly veterans at their home, hospital, clinic or skilled nursing facility. Her goal is assist our veterans and their surviving spouses to obtain every federal or state benefit that they are entitled to. The passion she has for serving the veteran community is like no other. Serving those that have served gives her a great sense of pride and she doesn’t think of it as a job, but rather a privilege.