County Commission extends veteran’s ombudsman contract

She’s helped many veterans in need connect with resources

The Grays Harbor County Commission moved to extend the contract for the veteran’s ombudsman position on Tuesday until 2025.

Gwyn Tarrence, the veteran relief fund ombudsman, will serve until at least 2025, a role she’s filled marvelously, said District 1 Commissioner Jill Warne.

“Gwyn has been doing an awesome job, reaching a lot of veterans and helping them navigate,” Warne said. “She’s really good about following through to make sure they’re getting the services they need.”

Tarrence, herself a veteran of the Marine Corps, took the position about a year and a half ago, she said.

“I am excited to do it for another year,” Tarrence said. “We’ve had some really good cases where the money got to the veterans that needed it. We can help with utilities, rent, mortgage payments. As long as they meet the income guidelines and residency guidelines.”

The spending for the funds allotted to the program is extremely low; Tarrence said that much of her work is in helping veterans in need to connect with other programs.

“Ninety percent is not from the fund. Every time that I can connect, that helps another program,” Tarrence said. “We have partnered with Destination Hope and Recovery, Moore Wright Group, CCAP. It’s a big partnership out there.”

The amendment to the contract approved on Tuesday runs the contract out to Aug. 30, 2025. Warne said that Tarrence is providing excellence for the program as she works to aid veterans who need a hand, whether it be with benefit issues, relief from bills, working with veterans who are incarcerated, or any of a multitude of other cases.

“She’s doing a great job. I think it’s much needed,” Warne said. “We’re not doing a very good job of taking care of veterans. That’s kind of how this position evolved.”

For Tarrence, the biggest issue is getting the word out that the program exists, and that it’s OK to ask for help if a veteran needs it.

“I want to get the word out to more people. That was the goal last year,” Tarrence said. “There are still a lot of veterans that don’t know about the program or don’t know that they qualify.”

The program has used around $8,000 of the allotted funds in the last six months, Warne said, adding Tarrence is superb at connecting those who have issues with programs specifically designed to aid them.

“It’s just little bits,” Warne said. “We’re careful to make sure people are legitimately in need, that they’re not just taking advantage of the system.”

Veterans with issues can contact Tarrence at 360-660-2640, either calling or texting, or at

Contact Senior Reporter Michael S. Lockett at 757-621-1197 or