(KCPW News) Retired U.S. Army Colonel Gary Harter was appointed the state’s new Veterans and Military Services advisor today. Governor Gary Herbert announced Harter’s position as part of a restructuring effort designed to elevate military outreach.
“When you start looking at the needs of the military members and the veterans who have protected us are, one is to make sure of the awareness, the second one is to look at the availability of those services to them, looking at new ways of getting those services to them, looking at new ways to deliver services and to connect military and veterans to them,” Harter said.
Harter will work with the current executive director of the Department of Veterans Affairs, Terry Schow until his retirement in June. He says the demographics of Utah’s service members are rapidly changing but this position will make it easier for the state to reach out to everyone.
“We’re seeing more veterans that are female, more minorities, more rural, more veterans that are over 65 and living until 85 and beyond,” said Harter. “So, our services and those who provide services has to continue to change to make sure that we’re keeping pace with the demographic and the veterans.”
It’s estimated Utah has over 165,000 Veterans and more than 1,000 deployed Army and Air National Guard members.