NORTH CAROLINA SERVICE OFFICER GOES ABOVE & BEYOND
Helping veterans is more than a career, it's a lifestyle.
“So many veterans don’t know their rights,” said North Carolina VFW
Service Officer Donald W. Priem, Jr. “They need to talk to someone that
can guide them through the benefits available to them.”
combat veteran Annie Conrad visited Priem’s office in Winston-Salem,
N.C., she was in desperate need of some guidance. Priem, having retired
from a 24-year career in the Air Force, understood her frustration.
was injured in a service-connected automobile accident. This accident
left her with a cervical spine injury and intense neck and back pain.
meeting with Annie, it didn’t take me long to figure out what she was
missing,” said Priem. “She needed a notarized statement from someone
who witnessed the accident and a medical opinion that backed up her
In a letter featured in The VFW Leader, Conrad shared her gratitude for Priem’s assistance.
gave me his utmost attention and always returned my phone calls within
the same business day, no matter how busy he was. He worked
persistently and relentlessly for me. He worked on my claim while I was
confined to my couch.”
Once Priem pointed Conrad in the right direction, they secured the needed documentation, and Conrad was awarded full benefits.
always feels good when I win a case,” said Priem. “Annie had gone so
long without success. It was nice to give her some different news.”
25 years as a service officer, 21 of which were spent as a county
service officer in Florida, Priem stays two steps ahead of the VA. When
Priem isn’t taking appointments with veterans or accepting walk-ins,
he’s visiting VA rating boards to assure that all claims are reviewed.
“As long as I’m helping a veteran, my goal is fulfilled,” said Priem. “That’s the name of the game.”
the name of the game, Priem reigns victorious. Last year, Priem helped
veterans receive over $18.5 million in benefits. This translates to
over 6,000 interviews and 6,500 processed claims.
To all the veterans out there who need guidance, Priem calls on you.
“Go to someone who is knowledgeable,” said Priem. “Come to me.”