(Hauppauge, NY –March 1, 2017) – Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone is proud to announce the nomination of Suffolk County Veterans Service Officer and Coram native William “Bill” Rodriguez as a finalist for the prestigious 2017 Service Officer of the Year Award. Mr. Rodriguez is among three finalists who have been named for the annual award, which recognizes outstanding Veterans Service Agency Service Officers for their commitment to helping armed forces veterans gain access to various medical and social services. Rodriguez has been employed as a Suffolk County Veterans Service Officer (VSO) for over 15 years, where he serves as a liaison to the New York State Department of Labor and the Department of Social Services.
“Officer Bill Rodriguez is an incredible advocate who continues to demonstrate the knowledge and commitment needed to provide quality services to our veterans,” said Suffolk County Executive Bellone. “He is dedicated to ensuring that our veterans have access to all the necessary services that makes life easy for the brave men and women who have served this nation with distinction. He is an excellent leader and role model to other veteran service officers, and I wish him the best of luck and truly hope he wins this well-deserved award.”
In his role as the agency’s senior Veterans Service Officer, Officer Rodriguez is responsible for reviewing medical records, filing disability claims and liaising with veterans’ doctors about claims to ensure full coverage among many other responsibilities. Rodriguez was nominated for the quality of work reflected in the claims filed on behalf of local veterans and his proactive approach to help when claims are denied. Among other attributes highlighted in the recommendation for the award includes his ability to lead and mentor junior service officers.
“Bill Rodriquez is one of those people who, with great humility, who has dedicated his life to assisting and serving those who have served us,” said Tom Ronayne, Suffolk County Director of Veterans Services. “Bill has committed to being the very best Veterans Service Officer possible and in that pursuit has changed countless lives. When not serving veterans directly, Bill will be found mentoring other VSO's and sharing the knowledge he has accumulated over nearly 2 decades of this work. We as a County as fortunate to have him, the veterans of Suffolk County are blessed to have him.”
Officer Rodriguez is an American Legion Accredited Service Officer, a member of the Service Officer for the AMVETS Post 48 Lake Ronkonkoma, American Legion Post 155, Lifetime member of the DAV Post 190 and the Naval Enlisted Reserve Association. He is a past member of the Secretary if the Navy Retiree Council, Washington, DC, and the Suffolk County Veteran’s Advisory Council for Congressman Lee Zeldin. Officer Rodriguez is a 14-year veteran of the Suffolk County Police Department Auxiliary Police unit and holds the rank of Sergeant, and is also a past member of the Suffolk County Hispanic Advisory Board.
For more information on the County’s veteran services initiatives, log on to www.suffolkcountyny.gov or www.facebook.com/stevebellone.