Rep. Carol Shea-Porter hears veterans’ complaints and compliments
U.S. Rep. Carol Shea-Porter chats with Howie Howe of Manchester, a 20-year-veteran of the Marine Corps after a meeting at Sweeney Post 2 in Manchester. (PAT GROSSMITH)
“We have an obligation to provide veterans and their families with access to quality health care, a good job and an affordable education,” said Shea-Porter, a member of the U.S. House Armed Service Committee.
Among them was Tammy Krueger, acting director of the Manchester Veterans Administration Medical Center, where a new addition is being built to expand mental health and primary care services at the Smyth Road hospital. It is expected to take two years to complete.
Howie Howe, a U.S. Marine Corps veteran who served two years in Vietnam and who is known for his aggressive activism on behalf of veterans, said he was going to “throw a bomb” on what he described as a “nice dog and pony show.” He admonished the officials to “please stop wasting our money,” citing reports that millions of dollars in loans intended to go to disabled veterans, were awarded instead to established companies where the business owner was not a veteran. That, he said, happened while veterans at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington have to travel half-mile (bus transportation is provided) to get to a dining trailer where there are only two seats available for the disabled. Walter Reed decided earlier this month to close the “Warriors Cafe” in building 62 on weekends, which meant wounded soldiers being treated there would have to travel a half-mile to a temporary dining trailer. Last week, after news reports of the plan, the hospital decided not to make the change. “I am glad you are a bomb thrower,” Shea-Porter told him. She said the officials were there to listen to him and the other veterans and to try and make things better for everyone.
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