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Office of Veterans Affairs Staff

Robert E. Burke - Director

Robert directs the day-to-day operations of the Office of Veterans Affairs. He leads the team in ensuring that Vermont's veterans receive the state and federal benefits they deservedly earned. He is a veteran of the U.S. Navy having retired in 2012 after 28 years of Active and Reserve duty. He has served tours of duty both afloat and ashore as a Special Operations Officer; Diving and Salvage. He is a veteran of Operation Enduring Freedom having served as Officer in Charge of the Joint CREW Field Office attached to Joint Task Force Paladin from March 2007 to April 2008 in Afghanistan. His last tour of duty was as a Military Professor at the U. S. Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island from 2008 until 2012.

Jeffrey Brooks - Veteran Service Officer I

Jeff is a Certified Veterans Service Officer; meeting with veterans or their survivors to file claims for VA Benefits. Jeff conducts outreach in Bennington, Orange, Rutland, Windham and Windsor counties. He has been with our office since May 2019. Jeff retired from the VT Army National Guard with 34+ years of service including tours in Saudi Arabia and Afghanistan.

Crystal Franklin - Veteran Service Officer II

           Crystal is responsible for the Veterans Benefits Program in our office and supervises the Service Officers.  Her primary focus is VA appeals and representing veterans/survivors  throughout the appeals process.  She is an Air Force veteran. Crystal has worked for Vermont State Government since 1992 and has been with our office as a certified Service Officer since 2008.

Cathy Grupp - Veteran Services Clerk

Cathy started in February 2014 and is an administrator of programs in the office. She provides customer service over the phone and when veterans stop by. Cathy also maintains and updates outreach communication through our web and facebook pages.

Collin Johnson - District Facilities Supervisor

Collin supervises the maintenance staff at the Vermont Veterans Memorial Cemetery. He is involved with every aspect of the cemetery, from horticulture to mortuary affairs. Collin began full time employment at the cemetery in August 2018. He obtained his degree in Landscape Design and Sustainable Horticulture from VTC in May 2017. Collin also has a background in equipment operation and small business management. He worked as a temp employee at the cemetery during burial season in 2015 and 2016.

Jennifer St. Jean - Educational Consultant, State Approving Authority

                 Jennifer St. Jean joined OVA in 2016. She oversees all educational programs in Vermont that accept the GI Bill. Jennifer reviews and processes program approvals, new facility approvals and    conducts compliance surveys on behalf of the VA. Jennifer has five years of teaching experience abroad and previous state government work.

Amanda Rudy - Veterans Service Officer I

                 Amanda is an accredited Veterans Service Officer with the State of Vermont, Office of Veterans Affairs and has been with our office beginning in 2022. She is responsible for providing services within the counties of Grand Isle, Franklin, Lamoille, Orleans, Essex, and Caledonia. She is a Marine Veteran, serving four years from 2002 to 2006 as an Aviation Operations Specialist for the first KC-130J Aircraft Integration Squadron.  Amanda is the State of Vermont Women's Veterans Coordinator.