Mississippi County welcomes new Veteran's Service officer
Mike Freligh is the new Veteran's Service Officer serving Mississippi County. He will be filling the position previously held by Mickey Littlejohn.
He is no stranger to Mississippi County as he has worked as a juvenile probation officer for the last 4-1/2 years of his 13 years with the county sheriff's department.
His new position is part-time and he said he has a lot to learn about the different forms. He asks for veterans to be patient with him as he gets familiar with the duties of his new job.
"There are over 3,000 veterans in Mississippi County," he said. "I have a lot of files to go through but I will do my best to be available to the veterans and help them any way I can."
He encourages veterans to call the Blytheville office at 763-0509. If he is not there veterans can leave a message and he will get back to them. He plans to be available to veterans on an appointment basis.
"If I can't help or don't know the answer, I will find someone who does," he said. "I want to be here to help the veterans."
Freligh is a New York native and has made his home in Arkansas for the past 20 years. He came to Greene County and was formerly a pastor in Paragould. His children went to school in Paragould.
Freligh is a veteran serving in the Vietnam era and is a Gulf War veteran. He served 15 years active duty and seven years in the Reserves. He served as an aid to General Omar Bradley in the late 1970s.
Freligh's oldest son, Phillip, was a U.S. soldier and was killed in Kuwait.
His youngest son, Chris, is in the U.S. Marines.
He also has two daughters, Heidi Moore of Blytheville and Melissa Marion of Oklahoma.
The Blytheville office is located at 845 East Main. Freligh is presently working on schedules and will make appointments to meet with veterans. He will continue to serve as a juvenile probation officer and as the county veteran's officer.
"I will do my best to help meet the needs of the veterans," he said. "A lot of men and women who have served in the military may not realize they qualify for benefits. Veterans do not have to be retired from the military to qualify. I am looking forward to working with the veterans."