The Glasgow Courier - Serving Proudly As The Voice Of Valley County Since 1913

By Gwendolyne Honrud
Community Commentary 

Changing Veterans' Issues

 

September 12, 2018



While watching video of Matt Rosendale’s recent rally in Billings, I couldn’t help but feel disappointed, though not for the reasons I had expected. Rosendale, who is campaigning to represent Montana, spoke only briefly, while the President took center stage for most of the event. Understanding that rallies are an attempt to drum up enthusiasm for candidates, and not a venue for policy wonks like myself, I still expected a bit more focus on issues important to Montana rather than what I perceived to be generic campaign promises from the candidate.

But what struck me more deeply, was the President’s focus on Ronny Jackson and the role Senator Jon Tester played in waylaying that nomination. Plenty was said about what a good man Jackson is and how he deserved the job of VA Secretary, but what wasn’t mentioned was why the VA is such an important appointment and what veterans may have gained from a Secretary Jackson. From a cynical point of view, it seemed Jackson was being martyred by the President in a blatant attempt to use veterans as a political pawn.

Veterans need and deserve the support of the American public. They deserve quality health care in all forms that is available to them in all parts of our country. Former members of the armed services face a number of issues when transitioning back to civilian life, issues that are not well understood outside that tight knit community, even by spouses and families.

Returning to the Courier offices this week, I was buoyed to read a story promoting a Veterans Support Workshop, hosted and supported locally by the First Lutheran Church in Glasgow. Taking place, next Thursday, Sept, 20, beginning at 8 a.m., the program seeks to address these very issues. Clearly based on experience and a desire to serve, the organizers seek to bring together different community organizations and support systems not only to provide services, but to better understand the needs of veterans, with an emphasis on the limitations and potential on rural living.

Here is a chance to truly make a difference in the lives of veterans, locally. I applaud the First Lutheran Church and organizers for stepping up and addressing a national issue locally. Thank you for your service to those who have served for us.

 

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