‘This Job Gives Me Purpose’

After his military career, Army veteran Nathan Metz found working as a service officer helping other veterans gave his life purpose again

Nathan Metz spent a total of 11 years in the military with five years of active service in the Army, and another six years in the Ohio National Guard. After enlisting in 1991, he was immediately stationed in Germany for three years, followed by another two years at Fort Bragg in North Carolina. When asked why he joined the military, Metz said he wasn’t sure what he wanted to do with life, but he knew he wanted an adventure.

After being discharged honorably as a sergeant in 1996, Metz spent a decade as a civilian before enlisting again in the Ohio National Guard in 2005. During this period, he was deployed to Kuwait in the Middle East from 2008–2009.

Veteran in active duty hat walks into VFWMetz is a Life member of VFW Post 2457 in New Haven, Indiana, where he now lives with his wife, Connie.

In 2019, Metz was approached by a county VFW Accredited Service Officer who needed help assisting veterans locally with their VA claims.

“I ended up working for their office for a while when I was notified the Ohio Department Service Officer was looking for a service officer to operate out of Cleaveland, Ohio,” Metz said. “I moved there to help other veterans apply for their benefits in each of Ohio’s 88 counties. One success led to another, and I transferred to Indiana to do the same work but live closer to my family.”

After his military career, Metz says he was always searching for something else to give his life purpose again.

“After being deployed, coming back home is difficult,” he said. “It’s hard to find a feeling of purpose again. This job gives me that purpose.”

Metz works diligently to help his fellow veterans get the benefits they deserve through the claims and appeals process. He spends his day answering emails and phone calls to gather the information he needs to assist with veterans’ claims.

“One story I remember is a veteran I represented at a board of veterans appeals hearing. He was eventually awarded his contention due to his testimony and the evidence we presented. He came out of the hearing with a 70% disability approval,” Metz said. “He was so grateful. He contacted me in tears saying this award will be life-changing for him. These are the ones that make this job worthwhile.”

Learn more about the VFW's National Veterans Service (NVS) program.