9/11/2013 4:59 PM
by Karen Franklin
BECKLEY - Local veterans concerned with their futures voiced their concerns to state officials in hopes of bringing change.
About a dozen men who served in the Armed Forces met with Department of Veterans Assistance Secretary Rick Thompson Wednesday at the Raleigh County Commission on Aging.
Thompson planned to conduct sampling of vets, who spoke about problems they encounter in healthcare and claim filing.
"It's making us a little angry because all of us Vietnam veterans haven't got much more time, and finally they are trying to get us something, but I think that they're waiting until all of us die out," Ray Erskine told WOAY.
Army veteran Willis Tiller sat next to him.
"I'd like to bring up issues that are important for the veterans, including myself, that need to be addressed," Tiller told Newswatch. "That they understand exactly what they are, and that they can learn from this experience because it is a learning experience and they can correct the issue -- and it's not problems, it's challenges."
The department hopes to fix their challenges and also promote services already available to them.
"We have a free country," Thompson said. "We have a country where people can live and earn a living because of a lot of sacrifices by men and women in uniform, and we want to continue to show our appreciation of what they've done and everything we can do to help. We can't ever do enough in my opinion."
Wednesday's meeting is one of five stops throughout the state by the department of veterans assistance.
Thompson is scheduled to be in Barboursville Thursday.