SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – After 10 years in the U.S. Army both domestically and overseas, Joe Higgins’ service continues.

He now serves as the youngest chairman ever of the Veterans Council of Chatham County.

Higgins says it wasn’t a job he always envisioned himself doing.

“I was doing a lot of volunteer work in the community and in Pooler recreation, coaching basketball for my son,” he explained. “So all of a sudden, he’s graduated high school, he’s going off to college, and I found myself with nothing to do.”

Then, Higgins’ friends started inviting him to hangouts and BBQs at the American Legion in Thunderbolt.

“After six months of resisting, I finally gave in. I went to one, met some of the guys, and was like, this is what I was missing.”

In 2019, the Veterans Council chairman stepped down, and Higgins said he wanted to step up.

After running for chairman after being a member for about two months, he won by three votes.

“It was quite impulsive. I wasn’t sure about it,” Higgins said, “and I’ll tell you right now, there were a lot of older veterans not sure about someone my age coming in and doing it.”

But at 45 years old, Higgins became the youngest chairman ever, saying me he won over the longtime members by simply being a good listener and not making drastic changes to how things were run.

“They saw the effort I was putting into it, and that’s kind of when they started going, ‘OK, maybe this guy’s got something here,’ and that’s when I started pulling them on board, he said.

Some of Higgins’ accomplishments include the implementation of Zoom meetings during the pandemic and POW sessions to start each meeting.

Higgins said his service is far from over.

“You gave your life and your time to the government, to your fellow citizens, you stood up and said I’ll protect you no matter what and you do what you need to do.”