Dennis Cordle

Dennis Cordle

Board appoints Fort Calhoun resident to position

For the past nine years, Dennis Cordle has been serving his fellow veterans as the Washington County veterans' service officer. But as he prepares to retire, Cordle will be passing his duties to Fort Calhoun resident Ed Lautrup.

During its meeting Tuesday, the Washington County Board of Supervisors approved Lautrup as the county's next veterans' service officer effective immediately.

"I plan to work with him for approximately one month," Cordle said.

Lautrup was recommended to the board for approval by the Washington County Veterans' Service Committee. The committee consists of county residents Deb Wehrli, Larry Kusek, Harold Paulsen and Dennis Penry.

"Ed's a county guy, he grew up in Kennard, graduated from Arlington High School, served 20 years in the U.S. Army before retiring," Cordle said, adding Lautrup would be a "major asset" to the county.

Following his approval by the county board, the State of Nebraska gives the final stamp of approval, Cordle said.

State statues dictate the appointment requirements of county veterans' service officers. Officers should be residents of the state of Nebraska for at least one year, have served active duty in the armed forces of the United States during specific dates and have been discharged or separated honorably.

Cordle, who served in the Navy during the Vietnam War, said the position was advertised in multiple places, including the county website, and around 20 applicants entered their names. He said pre-screening of applicants by the committee was done through mail, phone and email due to the coronavirus. The committee then chose three candidates to interview May 20.

"On behalf of the board members, thank you for your service," Supervisor Steve Kruger, District 6-Arlington, said.

"Thank you, it's been an honor serving with you," Cordle said. "One of the highlights of my life."

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