Wisconsin Veteran's Network makes getting crucial help easier

Posted at 9:55 AM, Nov 17, 2023
and last updated 2023-11-17 10:55:30-05

GREENFIELD — Veterans and their families have an important ally when they need services. Wisconsin Veterans Network (VetsNet) works with more than 75 social service agencies to save veterans and military personnel time and headaches while searching for help.

It's an agency that relies only on private donations. VetNet is a non-profit agency based in Greenfield. Executive Director Quintin Hatfield says its goal is to help former military men and women avoid bureaucracy.

He explains, "We provide a safety net for veterans all over Wisconsin."

Hatfield is an army Vietnam veteran who understands the needs of our nation's heroes.

"So many of them are frustrated when they come to us because they already have been to maybe five or six agencies, but they went to the wrong agency. Our job is to stop that in their tracks, whether they are in Rhinelander, La Crosse, Milwaukee or Racine... stop that process in its tracks."

He admits it can be tough for veterans applying to the correct program. Hatfield notes there are more than 500 nonprofits offering veteran assistance.

He explains, "It's our job to help them enter that system, whether it's qualifying for VA benefits that they don't know they are qualified for or qualify for food-sharing which enables them to feed themselves and their family more easily and be served quickly."

He notes veterans can also need rent and energy assistance.

Hatfield hopes to increase the footprint of the Wisconsin Veterans Network.

"Last year we had 410 clients in 32 counties, and I'm not satisfied because there are a lot more clients in Wisconsin."

Hatfield's career has meant several jobs in the corporate world. But he says improving the life of our nation's warriors is the most rewarding job of all.

"It's more gratifying than anything I've done in the for-profit sector. This is the most gratifying work."