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Tons of people show up to the Veterans Town Hall meeting

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – It was standing room only at the Veterans Town Hall meeting. Many people came out to address their concerns. Many of the men and women in the room have served our country and rely on the VA for medical needs.

Like veteran Lee Pryor. He was concerned about programs designed for homeless veterans, specifically a program that offers free food and clothing for veterans. He found out they do in fact offer this service and got his question answered. “I asked about it last year, but no one knew about it, so it was very helpful,” Pryor explained.

For others like Roseanna Cox her problem is more complex. Cox’s husband is a retired Air Force veteran and her son is a disabled Army vet. “While he was in Iraq his Humvee ran over an IED, and there was an explosion,” Cox explained.

She said the explosion left her son with a traumatic brain injury and PTSD. Cox said her experience dealing with the VA has been tough. “It was a complete nightmare. I know they are working on getting things better, but it`s a slow process,” Cox said.

Friday’s town hall meeting had people asking questions about benefits, appeals process, and some veterans even claiming they aren’t receiving the appropriate treatment. “That`s what we want to do. Look at each veteran one at a time and address their needs and concerns. That’s why we are here today,” Director of Birmingham VA Center Thomas Smith said.

Cox is thankful the town hall was held. She just wants policy change to happen at a quicker pace. “Yes, they are fixing things. Let`s work on it now. Let`s not have a meeting about a meeting, let`s have a meeting about a problem and come up with a solution,” Cox explained.

Both Cox and Smith said the high number of veterans committing suicide is alarming to them both. The VA said they have a hotline set up for veterans struggling, but Cox believes the hotline needs major improvements.