Hours of Operation

Monday - Thursday 7:00 am - 5:30 pm

Veteran Service Officer
Mitchell Chmielewski
Veterans Service Officer
VA Accreditation #52097

Contact Information
41385 U.S. Hwy. 71
P.O. Box 201
Windom, MN 56101
507-831-5522 (P) - Appointments Encouraged
507-831-4024 (F)

Services & Responsibilities
The Cottonwood County Veteran Service Officer is a military advocate and honorably discharged veteran who is trained to serve military veterans and their families. The Veteran Service Officer (VSO) maintains compliance with state and federal mandates to attain accreditation with a selection of organizations (POAs) that act on behalf of veteran claims. Laws and regulations regarding state and federal veteran benefits are rigorously reviewed then tested to ensure the highest level of professional care and guidance. Military veterans and families in the Cottonwood County area are encouraged to contact the VSO for any assistance they may need.

Responsibilities of the Veterans Service Office

  • Disability Compensation
  • VA Appeals
  • Pension (Veterans & Survivors)
  • Death & Indemnity Compensation (DIC)
  • Burial Benefits
  • Health Care Enrollment
  • Discharge Form Amendments
  • State Soldiers Assistance Program

Gulf War Veterans and Family Members: Veterans may be eligible for disability benefits if you served in the Southwest Asia theater of military operations during the Gulf War period and you didn’t receive a dishonorable discharge.
Gulf War Presumptive Conditions

Vietnam Veterans and Family Members: Veterans who were exposed to Agent Orange may have certain related cancers or other illnesses. Veterans may be eligible if they have a health condition caused by exposure to Agent Orange, and
served in a location that exposed you to Agent Orange
Agent Orange Presumptive Conditions

Camp Lejeune Veterans and Family Members: Veterans or family members (to include Reserve and National Guard) who served at Camp Lejeune between August 1, 1953 - December 31, 1987 may be entitled to VA benefits. 
Camp Lejeune Presumptive Conditions 

Veterans and Spouses: A reminder that the Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs sponsors a dental and optical program that is based upon household income and assets. If you qualify you may use your local private provider. The veteran and/or spouse may also be eligible for a one time "Special Needs" Grant.
State Soldiers Assistance Program

Important Contacts
Veterans Benefits Hotline: 1-800-827-1000
Calls are answered by a live agent 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. Contact to update your address and banking information with the VA, as well as to request benefits letters and more.

Veterans Crisis Line: 1-800-273-8255, Press 1.
The Veterans Crisis Line is the world’s largest provider of crisis call, text, and chat services, according to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. The line is manned 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Users also may text to 838255 or chat online to receive confidential crisis intervention and support.

Emergency Care Reporting: 844-724-7842 
Veterans, their representatives, and in-network community providers should report instances of a Veteran arriving  to a community emergency room to VA within 72 hours of the start of emergent care. Out-of-network providers are encouraged to notify VA as soon as possible. Failure to report the incident within 72 may result in the veteran incurring responsibility any/all costs.

Minnesota Family Assistance Center - Mankato: 651-268-8475  Address: 100 Martin Luther King Jr. Dr., Mankato, MN 56001
Family Assistance Centers (FACs) offer a variety of services including assistance with obtaining, or renewing military IDs. These locations are manned Monday - Friday from 8 am to 4:40 pm.