I found the story interesting and appreciate the efforts that the Cass County Veterans Service Office is doing to ensure our veterans are receiving the benefits they've earned.

I did, however, find it a little bothersome that they had found some claims that slipped through the cracks, insinuating that previous Veteran Service Office employees failed in their duties. I can tell you that is just plain wrong, disparages the great work they did, and sullies their reputation.

I was the Cass County Veterans Service Officer from 2015 to 2019. In that time, my staff recovered almost $2.9 million in retroactive VA claims. The annual compensation and pension payments in Cass County went from $35.5 million to $46.3 million. This was due to amazing work done by the staff during this time. They were diligent in their pursuit of benefits for their clients and worked tirelessly to get the maximum amount.

There are those that felt we fell short and I sincerely apologize to any veteran or family member that feels they were not given the service they deserved. My staff and I were not infallible and unfortunately did make mistakes, but it was never intentional nor with malice.

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The work is stressful and I wish the best for Cass County's continued success but not at the expense or reputation of those that came before.

Dan Thorstad was the Cass County Veterans Service Officer from 2015 to 2019.

This letter does not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Forum's editorial board nor Forum ownership.