HOME LINES: Montgomery County Tennessee's Website for Veterans Will Make Difference

April 27, 2015
The Leaf-Chronicle

In case you missed the announcement last week, I thought I’d write a little bit about this new Montgomery County Veterans Network of Care website that was launched on the 24th of this month.

This is another feather in the cap of our new County Mayor, Jim Durrett, who would quickly deflect and say the site is the result of the hard work of others, because that’s the kind of guy he is. But, I can tell you, because I’ve been watching, that this mayor is going to be the best civilian partner/leader active duty and veteran service members could have hoped for during the upcoming years.

Mayor Durrett and his wife, Mary, have had a close and active relationship with the military, Fort Campbell in particular, for many, many years, and the community is already benefiting from that relationship. This is not a “photo op” or lip service couple—they walk their talk—which is evidenced by the fact that this website is up and running only four short months into Durrett’s tenure.

A visit to http://montgomery.tn.networkofcare.org will show the visitors how committed Durrett and his staff are to ensuring that our service men and women and their families have access to as much assistance and information as possible. The statistics tout more than 20,000 pages of related information—most available within “three clicks” of the home page. More stats—there are already 195 service providers you are able to connect to through this site.

I have perused the site and am impressed with the variety of information they have gathered there, but I must admit they had me at “large print.” Any website that provides the option of choosing to view its contents in a larger font is speaking my language. You will also see, just above the “large print” option, the option to choose the language in which you would prefer to view the content. Talk about being user-friendly!

Another extremely user-friendly option is the ability to update or add information to the site. If there is one thing I’ve learned about folks in the military, they are not stingy with their knowledge. If they know of a resource that might be helpful or, alternatively, have found a “dead end” when pursuing an answer to a question, they will gladly share that information with you.

The folks at Montgomery County, along with the website developer, recognize this trait and will be making use of it by providing a link where users can make suggestions for new information to be added to the site, as well as updating existing information.

Don’t worry, they’re not going to be publishing the recommendations (aka complaints) of every Joe that contacts them. They will check the information provided for validity and accuracy before adding it to the site. I just appreciate that they’ve got this option built into the site at the beginning. It is intended as place to go for information, but they allow for interactions with the intended user; very progressive.

I also like that you have the ability to set up your own folder of information on a secure site linked to this website. They refer to it as your Personal Healthcare Record, and it allows you to store medical information for yourself and family members. The access to this folder is encrypted and you have the option of using your CAC (Common Access Card) to sign in.

The beauty of this particular option is that all of your vital health information, such as medication prescriptions and dosages, is only a smartphone away. Brilliant!

There is so much more available on this easy-to-use, yet innovative site. I hope you take the time to visit it and make use of the information they’ve gathered for you.