Hope goes a long way

November 15, 2013

Reading U.S. Rep. Richard Hudson’s column, “Fulfilling a pledge to help veterans,” (Daily Journal, Nov. 13) added two ingredients to my Veterans Day: information and hope.

The information concerned three current House bills he has voted for and actively supported which will upgrade housing assistance for severely disabled vets, offer improved employment, job training and educational assistance to help returning war veterans transition more effectively to civilian life, and of critical importance, a bill to reduce the backlog of Veterans Administration disability claims.

Rep. Hudson is also encouraging the Senate to “swiftly pass” these three bills. His writing and political actions help maintain veteran issues in the public domain, and improve direly needed service delivery to them.

I gained hope because I have assurance from my Congressman that he is working for us veterans in Richmond County, North Carolina, and the United States to provide services many veterans need, but can’t obtain on their own. I think the biggest problem a veteran faces is not knowing about or how to access services through VA, and often having to do this alone.

The VA has vastly improved its response to veterans since the Vietnam era, but a tremendous backlog exists that severely frustrates handling disability, medical, unemployment and housing claims. Each veteran has to often wait months to years to have their claim(s) and appeals resolved. As a result, too many veterans suffer homelessness, unemployment and untreated illness and injury following their wartime service; a very distressing situation for veterans and their families to cope with.

Thankfully there are fellow veterans, veterans groups, community organizations and some elected officials who make helping veterans and their families a priority! I hope the Journal will keep local veterans coverage going year around.

John Robich