Raimondo Names Kasim Yarn as RI’s First Director of Veterans Affairs

Thursday, February 18, 2016


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Governor Gina Raimondo has announced that Navy Lieutenant Commander Kasim Yarn as Rhode Island's first Director of Veterans Affairs.

"We owe our veterans a debt of gratitude for the sacrifices they and their families have made on our behalf. Kasim has spent nearly half of his life in the armed forces and more than a decade of his military career living in Rhode Island. He understands the unique challenges veterans and their families face and will be an advocate for every veteran in Rhode Island," said Raimondo.

The General Assembly created the cabinet-level director position in 2011, but it had been left vacant and unfunded until recently.

Yarn will officially take over the role later this spring upon retiring from the U.S. Navy, though he will begin meeting with staff immediately.

Kasim Yarn

Yarn joined the U.S. Navy in 1991 at age 18 and reported for basic training less than 24 hours after graduating from high school. He first moved to Rhode Island in 1995, where he was assigned to Naval Station Newport and met his wife, Rosaria.

Yarn earned his bachelor's degree from Boston University and a master's degree from Newport's Naval War College.

Yarn has completef four deployments including missions in Europe and support missions in the Middle East as a part of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom. During his career, he has been stationed for various assignments in Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Illinois, Virginia and Mississippi.

"I have spent my entire adult life serving my country and am honored to take on a new challenge serving veterans and military families in my state. My top priority is to honor the service and sacrifices our veterans and military families have made by giving voice to their ideas and concerns and working together to ensure that every veteran has an opportunity to make it in Rhode Island," Yarn said.

Yarn and his wife Rosaria live in Saunderstown.

Division of Veterans Affairs

Under the direction of Yarn, the Division of Veterans Affairs will build additional capacity to support veterans and military families.

Yarn also plans to improve access to education and training opportunities that lead to meaningful work for veterans and help them to successfully navigate services and benefits.


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