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Veterans find camaraderie in the workplace at Hamilton County Clerk of Courts

Clerk of Courts veterans
Posted at 4:08 PM, Jun 19, 2023

CINCINNATI — There’s a thread that connects all who have served and, in some cases, many former service members continue to serve their home county after shedding the uniform.

“It’s been 27 years,” said Denise Burks-Scott, who serves as a deputy clerk at the Hamilton County Clerk of Courts office.

Burks-Scott joined the Navy right after graduating from Woodward High School.

“I wanted to join because my grandfather was in the Navy,” she said. “The people, I met people from all over America. It was one of the greatest times of my life.”

After getting out of the Navy she received a call from the clerk's office saying they were looking to hire veterans.

One desk over is a fellow veteran from the United States Air Force.

“It’s almost like a clique because we see each other, I’m Air Force so they yell, 'Hey Air Force' or we call each other by the branch we were in. We look out for each other, it’s nice,” said Melissa Wolf.

Wolf spent her time in the Air Force working on inertial navigation and doppler navigation systems that were used in B-52 and KC-135 aircraft.

Then there’s former Army tanker Terry Harper, who also served three decades after time within the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Department.

“There’s always a little joking that goes about you know, what’s better and who is who, and everybody is still tight works as a team cause we were all there for one common goal to serve the country,” Harper said. “I’ve been in uniform pretty much my whole life since high school.”

He wears an Army green pin on his uniform and under his pocket flap a tank pin tied to his love for his service.

In all, there are 11 veterans that work in the clerk's office. That common thread of service extends to the very top of the office and the Hamilton County Clerk of Courts Pavan Parikh, who is currently in the Army reserves.

“I’m hitting 10 years this September,” Parikh said.

He’s attached to the 9th Legal Operations Detachment, Army Reserve Legal Command, US Army Reserve Command. His work within the military legal system has taken him to South Korea and allowed him to take part in being an advocate for victims of military sexual trauma.

“I spent three years as a special victim’s counsel in the military, “he said. “That was a really impactful time of my life working with those victims helping them through the process getting them the help they needed.”

Parikh said it’s great having 10 other veterans within his office and it adds a level of camaraderie that also helps the mission of the clerk’s office.

“It’s allowed us to build deeper relationships,” he said. “It’s allowed us to do something that is very not military and skip that chain of command and really develop that one-on-one relationship no matter where they work in our organization because we have that shared background, those shared values, those shared experiences.”

The internal ribbing among fellow military branches adds to a cohesive environment and the strength to rely on one another.

“We learn a lot from each other whether you’re United States Marine, Army, Air Force, Navy we learn a lot from each other,” Burks-Scott said.

If you’re a veteran looking for a veteran-friendly work environment, you can find a list on the Ohio Means Jobs website.

If you have a veteran story to tell in your community, email homefront@wcpo.com. You also can join the Homefront Facebook group, follow Craig McKee on Facebook and find more Homefront stories here.