Volunteer Serves Veterans, Inspires Employees

Volunteer Serves Veterans, Inspires Employees

A Las Cruces man volunteering out of the Doña Ana County Sheriff's Department for the last 10 years has been an advocate for veterans and an example of stewardship for county employees.

Retired soldier Joe "Sarge" Heintz, 74, began his volunteer work as a veterans service officer in 1994. Since then, Heintz has helped hundreds of veterans and their families obtain the benefits for which they qualify. Although there is a paid veterans commission employee for the county, Heintz said one man for the job is not adequate to help the many veterans who need urgent help.

Heintz has not only helped veterans of Doña Ana County, but has gone as far west as Lordesburg and as far north as Truth or Consequences to hear the needs of veterans.

Most veterans with whom Heintz works meet him at either his DASO-provided office space or at White Sands Missile Range.

"Sarge is really an inspiration to the staff of the sheriff's office," executive secretary Bernice Montoya said. "He comes in every Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. to help veterans here, and then goes out to White Sands Missile Range to do the same thing."

The 43-year Army veteran said volunteering keeps him active, and he likes helping others.

“There's nothing worse than sitting in your house and doing nothing," Heintz said.