(15 Total References)
Watauga County's director of Veteran's Services Jim Harmon works from his office in the Watauga County Courthouse Annex in Boone.
Photo by Scott Nicholson/Watauga Democrat Jim Harmon
has been head of the county,s Office of Veteran,s Affairs for nearly 20 years, with a background in vocational rehabilitation.He is also a veteran himself, having served in the Navy, including an 11-month stint in Vietnam.
The office was created state law, requiring each county to host one, though the state pays some of the cost and provides training.Harmon
biggest job is helping veterans and their dependents navigate the bureaucracy of the federal government and help them get the benefits for which they are eligible.
However, all female veterans have access to full care, which Harmon
attributed to the addition of more services for female health.
Health care for veterans has taken the form of policy instead of law, which leads to some confusion and controversy over benefits. ,A group of veterans filed a lawsuit to sue the V.A. to provide mandatory health care,, Harmon said. ,It,s never been put into law, it,s been given, and they,ve been told.In general, V.A. benefits have increased.,The Department of Defense
also offers some benefits, creating some confusion over funding and program cuts.Harmon
said the political debate often is reduced to ,sound bites, that further cloud the issue, though he
said the funding comes from the ,same piece of pie., If the Veterans Affairs budget is cut, benefits are usually increased in a corresponding amount through the Department of Defense
said one change that has increased defense budget costs is that some veterans are now eligible for concurrent benefits through both programs.Harmon
said health care is the biggest concern for most veterans, particularly with the aging of World War II, Korean War, and Vietnam War vets.Harmon
enrolled himself in the V.A. hospital
at Mountain Home
and said he
was so impressed that now he
gets all his
care there. ,A lot of veterans who have been to V.A. hospital
say it,s the best care they,ve ever received,, he
said. ,The care is personal and friendly, so hopefully it,s ubiquitous through the system.,Harmon
said about a third of the soldiers serving in the Gulf War filed some sort of disability claim, and he
expects that percentage to be about the same for those returning from the Iraq war.National Guard soldiers who serve on active duty get the same benefits as those in other branches of the military.Harmon
said there,s a new educational benefit for veterans that he
expects will be widely used.
Veterans Affairs conducts screenings before soldiers leave active duty to anticipate any service-connected claims.Veterans who aren,t disabled would have to be below income requirements, currently $31,900 combined for a veteran and spouse.Harmon is a member of the American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars, and Disabled American Veterans, though he said he encourages those organizations to send veterans to his office when they have claims.Harmon also serves as a liaison for any Social Security or state benefits for which a veteran is eligible.
,The biggest concern for veterans is access to health care,, Harmon said. ,Veterans Affairs is operating the largest socialized medical program in the world.It has its foibles and its pluses.If anybody wants to see what socialized medicine looks like, they can go to a V.A. hospital
and see it in action.,Harmon
said computers have helped with the filing of claims, but that has yet to eliminate delays in response.A veteran may wait between 12 and 18 months to hear back on a claim. ,It,s very frustrating for the vet to sit and wait that long to hear from the V.A.
Possible changes to benefits are also a worry for veterans. ,It,s a function of news shows,, Harmon
said.It keeps vets stirred up.The federal budget is a complicated program and it,s so political.That,s where this office plays an important role, keeping up with changes and new things on the horizon.,Harmon
said veterans are generally more positive, and the visibility of the Iraq war has brought more attention to veterans. ,On the whole, they feel the V.A.
is improved, so they generally feel appreciated,, Harmon said. ,With the war going on, there,s a more positive attitude about veterans, and the veterans see that.,
Watauga County Commission
Before that the company offered a limited basic tier for which customers paid less ( around $13 ) for a smaller number of channels , according to Watauga County telecommunications coordinator Jim Harmon.This allowed customers less able or willing to pay for the full package or who simply did not want all of them access to a less expensive package.Some cable companies' tendency to reduce or stop tiering stemmed from the 1996 Cable Act , Harmon said , a law passed probably in response to the rising power of local franchise authorities spawned by a 1992 law.The 1992 act gave franchise authorities a lot of power to regulate rates , said Harmon.Congress' justification for the 1996 law was that competition would regulate rates so we wouldn't have to..Since then , however , rates have jumped , on the average , about 14 percent , Harmon added.To this Anthony Barlage , regional manager of Helicon Communications Inc. , said that despite more loosening of regulations that went into effect in March , the company continues to retain a reasonably priced product..Harmon said the narrowing of choices has inspired maybe 10-12 customers to call him since the change , although he speculates that many more would probably like to see tiers reintroduced.Even so , he said that Helicon's current rate of $28.90 for the 70 or so channels available is a solid deal for the money.When you compare to larger companies like Time-Warner in markets like Charlotte and Raleigh , you'll see Helicon offers better programming than you'll see anywhere in the state , said Harmon.At the commissioners' May 3 regular meeting , Barlage came before the commissioners to discuss a transfer of the county's cable franchise from Helicon to Charter Communications , which bought the former company last month.The board's only concern about this issue revolved around their hope that low-income customers will have options for cable service beyond one standard rate.Eventually this concern expanded to include why the company did not offer a lower tier to all its customers.In response , Barlage said Charter would not offer a limited basic rate because the company has determined it is not cost-effective. but would be willing to offer discounts for low-income persons in certain circumstances.A Charter official said by letter that the company would be willing to offer such residents a discount , provided there is an independent mechanism for determining who qualifies for such discounts.For example , if a local utility provides discounts for low-income residents , such persons could bring a copy of their utility bill to the cable office to provide that they qualify..
said that after talking by phone to FCC officials about the issue , he
suspected that the agency would acknowledge the county's complaint , but that would be about it unless the 1996 law changes.They said the law doesn't allow them to get involved in issues of tiering , said Harmon
.Charter Communications Inc.
announced its intentions last month to buy Helicon
, a New Jersey company
that serves approximately 171 , 000 customers in nine states , including both Carolinas , Tennessee and Georgia.In the High Country and parts of northeast Tennessee alone , the company serves about 24 , 000 cable customers.Barlage has said he
expects the sale to present no changes to his
field and office staff and promises that all of Helicon's commitments , including an upgrade of FrontierVision systems , will be met as planned.
Visitor number : 51 Last updated : Wednesday , 03-Jan-2001 10 : 57 : 59 EST
Copyright 1999 Watauga Democrat
Penn State Wrestling Club
Jim Harmon, champion at 157 pounds for Iowa State Teachers, had never been east before.
The two men who worked their way through the 24-man bracket -- the largest at the tournament -- to the title bout were Dan Sniff of Colorado State, and Jim Harmon of Iowa State Teachers College.
The finals: Although only a sophomore, Jim Harmon
had been to the NCAA finals before, having lost to Oklahoma's Tommy Evans in 1952.
In the first period, Dan Sniff scored a takedown, followed by an escape by Harmon
to make the score 2-1.
In the third, Harmon
opponent the entire period, scoring two points riding time.
The final score: 6-4 for ISTC's Jim Harmon.
After the NCAAs, Harmon ran out of money for college, so he joined the Navy.
came back to Iowa State Teachers College
in 1958 and graduated the following year, then returned to the Navy
before going into ranching, then retirement.
All-Americans at 157: Jim Harmon … Dan Sniff … John Eagleton of Oklahoma … and Michigan State's Vito Perrone.
In terms of individual champs from the top five teams, Penn State
had one (Hud Samson) … Oklahoma had none … Cornell
had two (Frank Bettucci and Don Dickason) … Oklahoma State
had one (Ned Blass) … and ISTC
had one (Jim Harmon).
Jim Harmon was NCAA champion at 157 pounds for Iowa State Teachers College in 1953, and was a two-time All-American.
Iowa Wrestling Hall of Fame | Cresco, Iowa
Harmon, Jim | Jim Harmon
Iowa Wrestling Hall of Fame | Cresco, Iowa
More enduringly than any other sport, wrestling teaches self-control and pride.
Some have wrestled without great skill - none have wrestled without pride.
, 1997 Iowa Wrestling Hall of Fame Inductee
Jim Harmon was involved in a host of activities in amateur wrestling.
attended West Waterloo High school
under the wings of two coaches, Roy Jarrard and Bob Siddens.
had a 43-7 won-loss record and finished second in the State Tournament in 1951.
He was also involved in football, track, and President of the Student Senate.
Jim enrolled at Iowa State Teachers College in the fall of 1952 and continued his wrestling activities again under two coaches, Dave McCuskey and Bill Koll.
Jim was in the Navy from 1954 to 1958 and from 1960 to 1977.
Naval wrestling career included winning two tournaments: the 12th Naval District at 167 pounds in 1955, and the All Navy
West first at 167 pounds in 1955.
also had a brief stint at coaching at the Naval Air Station Moffett Field, California in 1955 and 1956.
had a 12-0 coaching record.
They were 12th Naval District Champions and All Navy
Jim Harmon, a Navy Pilot, retired from the Navy with a Rank of Captain in 1977 with many awards including the Silver Star, Distinguished Flying Cross, Navy Marine Corps Medal.
was inducted into the Iowa Wrestling Hall of Fame