Phyllis Fitzgerald of Junction City has been appointed by Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly to sit on the advisory board for the Veterans Claims Assistance Program.

The board, according to the office of the Governor, advises the director of the Kansas Commission of Veteran’s Affairs Office on veterans’ services, which includes the Veteran’s Claims Assistance Program.

Fitzgerald, who once served on the Junction City Commission as Mayor and now works as the Executive Director for the Society of the First Infantry Division, is an Army veteran herself.

“I’m just proud to represent veterans, represent Junction City/Geary County,” she said. “I’m very honored and proud to have served in the Army, and proud to be a veteran and proud to know so many veterans in our community.”

Fitzgerald said she was approached about an opening on the board and told she ought to put her name in the hat for the position. So she applied back in March, alongside other people from around the state.

Last week, it was announced that Fitzgerald had been selected for the position.

“I’m really honored, one — to have even been considered,” she said. “I was really honored that I was one of the ones who was selected to sit on this board and to represent veterans.”

Fitzgerald looks forward to representing Junction City, Geary County, and the surrounding area and its many veterans.

“We’re pretty veteran-heavy — we’ve got a large population of veterans,” she said. “We’re pretty familiar with the compensation process and the needs of veterans when it comes to compensation. Just being a veteran myself, I have quite a good understanding of veteran needs when it comes to compensation.”

Fitzgerald said she is looking forward to her first meeting and getting a feel for what she’ll be doing on the board.

Fitzgerald is active in her community and enjoys staying busy.

This is just one more way she can help out.

“I am very busy, but I’m a big believer in this, too,” she said. “You’re passionate about the things that you work on or work for or strive for. You can make the time. This is my time and I choose to serve … Anyone who knows me, knows that no matter what it is that I am a part of, that I will put 110 percent into it. And this board that I got appointed to is helping to take care of veterans. We definitely need to do that and I will work very hard to continue to take care of veterans.”

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