Former Gov. Mitch Daniels' Newsroom

Contact: Jane Jankowski
Phone: 317/232-1622

For Immediate Release: Feb 7, 2005
Warren resident named director of Department of Veterans Affairs

INDIANAPOLIS (February 7, 2005) ? Governor Mitch Daniels has named a Warren resident with a long record of service to the state?s veterans as the next director of the Indiana Department of Veterans Affairs. Tom Applegate, who assists about 3,500 veterans and their families as Huntington County?s veterans? service officer, will serve the state?s nearly 600,000 veterans.

In his role as veterans? service officer for Huntington County since 1995, Applegate has worked and advised veterans in filing claims for federal and state benefits. He also was president of the Indiana Veterans? Service Officers? Association from 2002 to 2004 and was instrumental in developing a new form for county officers to use to file for the state burial benefit.

?Tom knows how to serve veterans one-by-one and face-to-face. He?s enthusiastically supported by veterans groups of all kinds, based on his compassionate care for the people he serves,? said Daniels. ?Tom?s county role for many years has prepared him ideally for this new statewide service post I?ve asked him to take on.?

Applegate, who is a Muncie native, planned, conducted and hosted the annual Veteran?s Day and Memorial Day programs in Huntington County, including a 1998 event that include presentation of Normandy Medals to 40 county World War II veterans. Since then, 388 county veterans have received individual recognition and medals.

Applegate spent a total of 25 years in the Indiana Army National Guard, retiring as a First Sergeant in 1995. He supervised a company of infantry battalion soldiers and directed eight platoon and section sergeants.

?I?ll work with Governor Daniels to develop a closer relationship between the department and national and state officers who represent various veterans? organizations. We can improve training opportunities for our service officers throughout Indiana and promote additional to recognize our veterans,? said Applegate.

Applegate was active in the U.S. Air Force for eight years. Among other accomplishments, Applegate planned and hosted a program in November 2002 in Indianapolis which recognized more than 100 World War II veterans from central Indiana who participate in the Normandy Landing.


Office of the Governor media contact: Jane Jankowski, 317/232-1622