RACINE COUNTY — Shawn Rivers has been appointed the next county veterans service officer to fill a vacancy after Zach Zdroik left the job to become the nonprofit Veterans Outreach of Wisconsin’s executive director.
The appointment came at the Racine County Board meeting Tuesday evening with a majority voice vote; a count was not taken.
Supervisors Nick Demske and Thomas Pringle were excused from the meeting.
“We had many great applicants for the position of Racine County Veterans Service Officer, but Shawn stood out because of his track record for ensuring our veterans community receives exceptional customer service and access to the benefits they so richly deserve,” said County Executive Jonathan Delagrave in a statement.
Rivers served 21 years in the Air Force, 1994 to 2015, then was a contractor as assistant veterans service officer for the county starting in January 2018. He moved into a full-time position in March 2019.
Rivers said in a news release that this role is the most important role he’s had in his life, second only to becoming a father.
“Veterans deserve an advocate in the community who cares, listens and addresses their concerns. I am proud to take on this role and excited to continue serving Racine County and our veteran community,” he said in the release.
Rivers addressed the board at the meeting and said he wants to make himself available for questions or veterans services needs. He called it an “honor” to serve the veterans in his county.
“Racine County has, as you all know, well over 12,000 veterans, so the need is there,” Rivers said. “We’re here as advocates for our veterans.”
The veterans services team tries to cast a large net, reaching out to as many veterans as possible, because for every veteran that knows the office exists, one or two mutual veteran connections don’t know of it, Rivers said.
District 6 Supervisor Q.A. Shakoor II said Rivers has an excellent resume and looks forward to working with him.
“We are very fortunate to have a highly qualified member of our staff who has received this appointment,” said District 11 Supervisor Robert Miller.
“On behalf of the Racine County Board, welcome aboard, and we look forward to watching all your wonderful work,” said County Board Chair Thomas Roanhouse.
In Photos: Racine County volunteers send gifts and greetings to Wisconsin Veterans Home residents
Carol Amborn addresses envelopes for holiday gifts to veterans home
Ken and Karen Smars wrap a gift for holiday delivery to veterans home
American flags in a box for distribution in holiday gifts going to veterans home
Conrado Moreno and other volunteers prepare gift bags for veterans home residents
Kim Hemphill delivers blankets donated for gift bags going to veterans home
Kim McWilliams checks on gift bags being prepared for veterans home residents
Handmade cards from school children added to gift bags for veterans home residents
Tom Busse carries gift bags loaded onto trucks for delivery to veterans home
Volunteers fill American Legion Post 171 in Union Grove for gifts to veterans home
Bernice Steffens wraps a gift for veterans home residents during holiday season
B. Shane Morris and Tom Busse load truck with holiday gifts for veterans home
Carol Amborn adds cards to gift bags for delivery to veterans homes
Kim McWilliams adds American flags to gift bags for veterans home residents
Oliver Davidson wraps a gift for holiday delivery to veterans home residents
Volunteers work at tables in American Legion hall on gifts for veterans home residents
Don Larsen carries bag of gifts to fill trucks headed to veterans home
Pickup truck loaded with holiday gifts going to veterans home residents
Greeting card with personalized message for holiday delivery to veterans home
The investigation into the fatal shooting of a suspect who was reported as fleeing from police is continuing, with the Wisconsin Department of Justice Division of Criminal Investigation taking lead in the investigation.
Officials from the Wisconsin Department of Justice released no new information before press time Sunday regarding the Friday afternoon fatal police shooting on Racine's south side, just west of Center Street.
Peggy Lynn Johnson-Schroeder had been Racine County's Jane Doe for two decades. Linda LaRoche, who had accepted Johnson-Schroeder into her home, was convicted of having killed the young woman and abusing her.
Dashari Watson, 21, was sentenced to 13 years in prison. He said that he too was the victim of gun violence, having nearly been paralyzed when he was shot at age 17. As a result, he began carrying a gun, aiming to protect himself.