East Texas Lawmakers React To V. A. Response - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

2/1/2008-Smith Co.

East Texas Lawmakers React To V. A. Response

The East Texas Veteran's Affairs is getting a little help, but lawmakers say it is not enough, on Monday the Federal VA's office in Smith County announced they will add a part time employee to help with veterans' claims once a week. Friday East Texas lawmakers told KLTV 7 with thousands of veterans needing help, the VA will have to do better than that.

"I am really angry about this because if there is anybody that deserves the best service it's a veteran," said Smith County Commissioner JoAnn Fleming.

Fleming said there is no way a part time person is going to be able to handle all of the veterans claims in East Texas, a number that is sure to rise.

"We expect lots of veterans to come back from Iraq and Afghanistan and we need to be prepared for that," said Fleming.

"They need to know that someone is going to be there, an there needs to be regular hours so that a veteran or his or her family doesn't have to constantly be trying to find somebody to help them," said Fleming, "They deserve that support and that's what we intend to get for them."

By we she means help in Washington.

"Those who have served honorably need to be served honorably," said East Texas Congressman Louie Gohmert.

He said the way the V.A.'s office is handled is horrible. His father in law, a World War II veteran, has been fighting them for two years.

"What a disaster! That they have to call and ask if we can give the name of which World War II veteran from Tyler is not being properly treated and has been mistreated for over two years.," said Gohmert, "I said it was a stagnant, quagmire and I stand by those words."

"I would hate for somebody to have to actually do something to actually earn their federal pay, especially when they are being played to help veterans," said Gohmert.

So now, lawmakers say they are pressing on, until our fighting men and women get everything they need, once they are back home.

Congressman Gohmert and Senator John Cornyn are planning a town hall meeting so veterans can voice their opinion, but a date has not been set.

Danielle Capper, Reporting. dcapper@kltv.com

 

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