Ex-Marine and current mayor of Nevada, Lynn Lathrop, has found yet another way to serve his community by accepting a position with the Story County Commission of Veterans Affairs.

Lathrop officially began his position with the commission on July 1 and will continue in that role until June 30, 2020.

Brett McLain, director of Story County Veterans Affairs, said he believes Lathrop will be a great addition to the commission.

“I know Lynn, I know he’s a veteran. He’s been in the office as a veteran, which is really unique because he knows what veterans are going to go through to try to get benefits,” McLain said.

Lathrop said “it feels good” to be a part of the commission, and he’s hoping he can help get veterans the services they need.

“I hope to make the process easier for those who are getting out and those that are in that are struggling trying to get answers or trying to get to where they need to,” Lathrop said.

Lathrop’s history with the military began when he enlisted in the United States Marine Corps in 1969. After boot camp and special training, he served in Vietnam with the First Marine attached to the Third Marine Division. After his tour of duty, he was sent back to San Diego and discharged. Eight months later, he re-enlisted in the Marine Corps, where he spent time in Hawaii as a flight line fuel chief and flight line safety officer.

After leaving the Marine Corps in 1973, he entered the work force and spent the next 44 years as an engineering manager for a number of food manufacturing companies across the United States. Lathrop retired three years ago and now spends his time working with the city of Nevada and various service clubs, including Kiwanis, American Legion, DAV Life Member and Vietnam Veterans of America Life Member. He has also served on the city’s Planning and Zoning board for two years, and was elected to serve as mayor of Nevada in 2014. Lathrop said he plans on stepping down from his current position as mayor at the end of the year, which will free up some more time for his new position on the V.A. Commission.

“I’m going to be keying in on specific issues that kind of haunt veterans who are coming out of the service now and those that were discharged years ago,” Lathrop said.

Lathrop said he hopes to be especially helpful to veterans living in the eastern part of the county that has often been harder to reach for the commission.

“Nevada, Colo, Maxwell, all of those. I know quite a few people that are past veterans and I’ll contact those folks and see if there’s anything I can do for them and help them slug though the system,” Lathrop said. “I’ll just make myself available; I’m not hard to find.”