Everyday, millions of hardworking Americans report to their places of duty all across the country, and these civil servants quietly work to make your lives better, safer, healthier, more productive. Today, we in the Department of Veterans Affairs want you to know who we are. We want you to know that many of us are You, and we want to share with you what it is we do and why we care.
Meet Katie Graham, a program manager with VBA’s Loan Guaranty Service.
Graham, a noted green thumb and mother “of three beautiful children who are growing up faster” than she likes, recently celebrated her 13th year as a VA employee.
Though she isn’t a Veteran herself, Graham attributes her passion for Vets and her career with VA to her grandfather.
“My grandfather was a POW in WWII, and he died in a VA hospital,” she said. “He was a kind and wonderful man, and he was happy to receive his treatment at VA. There was nowhere else he wanted to go for healthcare.”
He’s the one who “encouraged me to apply for position openings with VA,” she continued. “He was so excited when he found out I had an interview with VA. He told all the nurses and doctors [at the Minneapolis VA Medical Center] we saw that I was interviewing to work with them.”
That first job was with VA’s Loan Management team at the VBA St. Paul Regional Office. There, she worked in loan administration, helping Veterans who had fallen behind in their home loan payments.
“In a world of automation and online applications, the regional loan centers continue to offer Veterans an assigned, single point of contact to assist and answer questions about their VA-guaranteed home loan. I think this is the most important thing we can do to serve our Veterans.”
Now, Graham works with systems developers and mortgage services in central office’s Loan Guarantee Service to assist Veterans in the community. It’s a new role for her—being on the other side of the benefit—but one that has new challenges and rewards. Still, she relishes the times she’s able to work with and help Vets.
“My grandpa told me if I was hired with VA, it would end up being more than just a job,” she recalled. “He said VA would be a career I would enjoy and could be proud of, and he was absolutely right.”
Thank you for serving our Veterans, Katie.
Did you know? When VA staff establishes contact with Veterans who are behind in their mortgage payments, possibly proceeding foreclosure, they are experiencing every kind of financial hardship. VA offers Veterans a direct phone number to reach someone who is familiar with their case, can walk them through the process, and answer all their questions throughout the life of the loan. I think many Veterans who have worked with a VA technician would say the relationship and the assistance they received was invaluable.