Mason County launches Veterans Affairs Service office.

May 9, 2019
Jim Wincek

Mason County launches Veterans Affairs Service office.

LUDINGTON — On April 29, Mason County has recently opened a Veterans Affairs Service office. 

“We are thrilled to announce the opening of our new Veterans Services Office”, said Janet Andersen, chair of the Mason County Board of Commissioners.  “We’ve been working toward this for a long time and it’s really great to now see it come to fruition”.

“We’ve been aware for some time of the needs of our veterans in Mason County”, said Mason County Administrator, Fabian Knizacky.  “The county board deserves a lot of credit for recognizing these needs and proactively pursuing State funding to support the opening of our new V.A. office.”

According to Knizacky, Mason County successfully applied for a grant from the Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency.  The grant, in the amount of $58,836 was awarded in January.  Upon receipt of the grant, the Board of Commissioners immediately began a search for a qualified person to assume the newly-created position of Mason County Veterans Services officer.

“We are also very pleased to announce that Jim Wincek has accepted the position”, Andersen said.  “Jim comes to us with over 30 years of experience as a hospital executive.  He knows how to start and operate a new community service organization.  Our search committee unanimously felt that he was the right person at the right time.”

Wincek, a United States Army veteran himself, wasn’t looking for a job.  “I had retired in July of 2017 and was living a pretty happy and quiet life with my wife, Jeni, in Eden Township,” Wincek said.  “But when I learned that Mason County was planning to open a new VA office to serve our local vets, I knew I had to pursue it.”

“This is a personal thing for me”, said Wincek.  “I served during peace time, 1974-77.  The Vietnam war was just ending when I enlisted.  All of my time was done stateside.  During my service I was never at risk, never in harm’s way.  Because of this, I’ve always felt that I received so much more in return from my military service than I ever gave.” 

“During my time in the Army, I served as a combat engineer and land surveyor.  I learned to build roads, bridges and other infrastructure necessary to move troops and materials wherever they needed to go.  After leaving the Army I used this knowledge and skill set throughout my career in managing many hospital construction projects.  I also learned leadership skills that allowed me to advance in my professional career.”

“The VA paid for my college education, and we bought our first two homes with VA loans” Wincek said. “What I received in return for my service has always seemed out of proportion compared to the three years I gave to the Army.”

“I have been extremely fortunate in my life, and I owe the United States military and the VA a debt of thanks for much of it.   I am really grateful to have this opportunity, at this time in my life, to work with other veterans to insure they receive all of the benefits that they have earned, like I did.”

The new V.A. Office is located in the Ludington Resource Network (LRN) building at 920 E. Tinkham Avenue.  Initial office hours are Mondays and Wednesdays noon to 5 p.m., and Tuesdays and Thursdays 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.  Other hours are available by appointment.  Wincek may be reached at 843-2563, extension 2027 or  Additional information can soon be found on the Mason County website.

Eats & Drinks

Eats & Drinks