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Meet Racine County's new veterans service officer

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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.

Shawn Rivers


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.


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