Thursday, July 8, 2010

Congressman Greets Vets

12th District Congressman John Barrow (center) with two members of the VFW Post in Soperton: Bill Ricks (left) and Cecil Clontz (right).  Clontz is Commander of the American Legion and Commander of the Veterans of Foreign Wars.

Congressman John Barrow visited Vidalia, Thursday, during his annual Veterans Town Hall Tour. stopping in 7 counties over the week.
For those who missed him at Vidalia, there is another opportunity Friday from 10:30 a.m. to 12 noon at the American Legion Post 103, 689 Kite Highway, Swainsboro.

Barrow answering questions.

Constituents at the meeting at Meadows Wellness Center on Thursday afternoon asked a variety of questions, and three congressional aides were on hand to accept information, explain processes, and give personal help.
One gentleman asked about using and IRA to buy a family member's property. Barrow went into detail to explain, and a staff member noted the request, and will follow up.
Another was seeking replacement records for those lost in the fire at Fort Leonardwood years ago.
A daughter of an 89 year-old veteran's widow sought financial aid for her.
A Vietnam veteran asked about the latest changes of Agent Orange presumptive illnesses.

In the conference room of Meadows Wellness Center

In general discussion, the Congressman described the VA as a low impact organization with high maintenance, and he is on the side of making the VA high impact and low maintenance, but he agreed that his vision may be a long time in being realized.
On a question about illegal aliens, Barrow stated that his position was to draw the line at the border and at the employment office. He praised the eVerify program.
He also referred to the SAVE Act: "The Secure America with Verification and Enforcement (SAVE) Act targets employers with stiff penalties for hiring illegal aliens, secures the northern and southern border by adding 8,000 new border patrol agents and increases interior enforcement by allowing for additional federal district court judges and providing more resources for law enforcement officers."

Barrow explained how many bills have good points, but are not acceptable because of other parts that would not be good for the district or the country.

One young veteran talked emotionally of his battle of several years seeking help from the VA and Social Security. He is one of the National Guard called to duty overseas. He is already one of the hundreds of cases the Congressman's staff handles every month.
Printed information was distributed to help returning veterans from the Middle East. Also there was information about the REV process, designed to rapidly evaluate veteran claims.

Congressional aides work with constituents of the 12th district to help them.

Approved by Marlee
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