HOLLIDAYSBURG - Timothy G. Teltow, an Air Force veteran, has been named by the Blair County commissioners as the county's new director of Veterans Affairs.
He will take over Monday, replacing Charles J. Cates.
Cates, the county's director for the last 30 months, said he is retiring because of health and family reasons. He gave Teltow high marks for his enthusiasm.
The Associated Press
Retiring Blair County Director of Veterans Affairs Charles J. Cates (left) talks with new Director Tim Teltow.
Teltow has been a deputy under Sheriff Mitchell Cooper for the last 18 months. He has been researching veterans' benefits and opportunities and has been in regular communication with Cates over new developments.
"I think he has a heart for veterans. That's important in my book," Cates said.
Teltow's first calling was to become a police officer. He graduated from Port Huron, Mich., High School in 1972 and eventually became a police officer.
He then enlisted and served with the Air Force Security Forces for almost 18 years before retiring.
By 1994, he was serving with the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections, both as a corrections officer and a counselor. He worked with the state at the State Correctional Institution at Mahanoy in eastern Pennsylvania and then three years with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. He then took a job with Cooper and was in charge of screening individuals coming into the Blair County Courthouse.
His wife, Susan (Hopkins) Teltow, is from Bellwood.
"To me, it's all about the veteran, to help them get the benefits they are entitled to and to give them a place to go if they have questions about anything," he said.
He said if he doesn't know the answers, he will do what he can to get them.
"I'll do whatever it takes to help," he said, adding that he doesn't have a secretary so he would like veterans to call and set up appointments.
Teltow has been working with Cates for the last three weeks and will undergo training at Fort Indiantown Gap later this year. He also intends to meet with officials at the Van Zandt VA Medical Center in Altoona to learn about that facility, which has been adding services to address the issues of veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan.
His county office helps veterans and their widows obtain both state and federal benefits.
"The job is going to be a challenge. I don't claim to know everything, but I'll make sure it [the job] is done and done properly. It's all about the veteran. I'll do what I can for them," he said.
Mirror Staff Writer Phil Ray is at 946-7468.