Josh Layton

A former Cumberland High School graduate has been acting as a Veterans Service Officer in Effingham for a little over a year now. Josh Layton is a 2006 Cumberland High School graduate. Besides Effingham, he also serves Shelby and Jasper counties.

Layton served for more than nine years in the United States Marine Corps, with deployments to Korea, Iraq, Afghanistan and Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. He earned a rank of Staff Sergeant during his time in the service.

He began his job as a VSO in September 2018 and hit the ground running.

He said that his favorite part of the job is the veterans that come into his office. Layton said that his favorite subject in high school was history and that every veteran is a piece of history.

“I may get a paycheck from the state, but I’m here to serve the veterans,” he said.

Some of the benefits that he is able to help with include: compensation claims, pension claims, driver’s license, hunting/fishing permits, camping permits (state and federal), education and training benefits, healthcare, insurance, burial benefits and survivor benefits.

Layton said that he will help veterans from beginning to end with assisting them with benefits and if he cannot help he will provide them with a phone number or contact for someone that can help.

There are 81 VSOs in the State of Illinois, divided up into three divisions – southern, central and northern. Effingham is located at the north edge of the southern district, with its division headquarters in Benton.

The Effingham Veteran Service Office is located on the second floor of the County Building at 101 N. Fourth Street.

Layton invites you to visit him there to discuss veteran questions and needs to learn about possible assistance and services available. He can be contacted at or by calling 217-342-8493.

Crystal Reed can be reached at or by phone at 217-347-7151 ext. 131


Crystal Reed is a reporter for the Effingham Daily News, covering towns in the eastern coverage area. She is a graduate of Richland Community College and Eastern Illinois University with degrees in journalism. She is originally from Decatur.

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