Fulcomer will retire in November as director of Veterans Service Agency

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 31 August 2015 at 12:00 am

Photo by Tom Rivers – Paul Fulcomer accepts a check for $6,000 from the Albion Rotary Club last week. Becky Karls, right, helped plan the Rotary Golf Tournament that raised the money to go towards a van to transport veterans to medical appointments.

ALBION – The director of the Veterans Service Agency in Orleans County will retire on Nov. 28 after 13 years of helping veterans and their families receive benefits through the Department of Veterans’ Affairs.

Paul Fulcomer works to bring money to veterans from the VA, but also is active in planning services to honor veterans and also leads a volunteer-run van transportation service that takes vets to medical appointments.

Fulcomer is proud of the van transportation service that operates with five used vans. He thinks Orleans County is the only county offering such a volunteer-run service.

Last year, volunteers took 1,743 veterans to medical appointments with the vans. There are 33 volunteers in the van service, either driving or helping to arrange appointments.

“The people of Orleans County step up and help the veterans out,” Fulcomer told the County Legislature last week.

Donations help pay for the vans. Last week the Albion Rotary Club presented a check for $6,000 to go towards replacing one of the five vans. The Rotary Club also donated $5,000 in 2014 for the van service. This year’s golf tournament was able to raise more for the van service.

Fulcomer and his office helped return $20.3 million to the veteran community in Orleans County last year, he told county legislators in a report last week. That includes $11,467,000 for compensation and pension, $7,961,000 for medical care, $755,000 for rehabilitation and vocational services, and $178,000 for insurance and indemnities.

In addition, Fulcomer acts as the veterans’ burial officer in the county and was responsible for nine veterans’ burials last year.

The county cost for the Veterans Service Agency is $87,592. Fulcomer said his office returns $232.45 to the community for every $1 spent by the county for the Veterans Service Agency.

There are 3,239 veterans in the county and about 2,500 widows. Fulcomer’s office made 13,825 contacts last year with veterans, widows and children of veterans.