Clay County Veterans Service Officer Receives Human Rights Award
September 26, 2011
"That's a great question--a typical day? There's no typical day in the veteran's service office."
For Tom Figliuzzi a regular day at the office is unpredictable, but the service he provides to the community is not.
Maybe it's because serving is in his blood.
Figliuzzi, his father and his brother served in the Army, and today this Clay County Veteran Service Officer continues to go above and beyond his job description.
"I think not having a lot maybe growing up and having to just get by kind of helps you in the long run—you do appreciate where you come from and any little thing, and I think it lends to looking out for your fellow man a little more," Figliuzzi said.
For disabled veteran Daryl Grandberry, Figliuzzi didn't just do a little more—he helped change his life.
"He took the time to listen without prejudging me, you know? He listened with his ears and not his eyes."
Three years ago, what Figliuzzi saw was a single dad with a 6-month-old daughter, no job and no place to live.
What Figliuzzi heard was, of course, the sounds of service that he could help facilitate.
"It's kind of compelling and touching for me all at the same time because I didn't know you and for a stranger to know you, to reach in their pocket and say 'Well, you got a place to stay’—-I saw the works of this office and not only the works of this office but Tom's the leader of this office," Grandberry said.
To return the favor, Grandberry was more than happy to play a part in helping Figliuzzi receive the Human Rights Award from the Moorhead Human Rights Commission, but the service officer hopes the award can create awareness that more work still needs to be done to help veterans.
"That would be the biggest thing, that to me, that this award could do," Figliuzzi said.
And even if the community he serves is unpredictable, Figliuzzi's nature of continuing to help and provide for his fellow veterans remains the same.