Phyllis A. McKenna | We Must Do Better for Veterans

Letters to the Editor
Letters to the Editor

Laura Ingraham did a segment on veterans camped out in tents outside a veterans’ facility in Brentwood. Apparently more than 300 acres in Brentwood had been donated to the Veterans Administration. As a four-year veteran of the U.S. Army myself, I come from a fairly long line of veterans. My father served in the Army in France during World War I. My uncle, my mother’s brother, served in the Navy during World War I and her younger brother served in World War II. He volunteered even though he would not have been drafted. He was killed in Italy by a sniper at the end of World War II. He had wanted to serve his country.

The plight of these camped-out veterans is very concerning to me. Fortunately, after Laura’s segment, the VA has allowed the veterans to move their tents inside the gates at the VA facility. That is progress but it does not solve the problem.

In my hometown in the Midwest, they had a VA Hospital and right next to it they had a domiciliary that housed mainly single or widowed veterans. They had room and meals provided for them. In turn, they did groundskeeping and some janitorial services. They were able to work on crafts and they made baskets and furniture for use or sale. 

One of these veterans was a family friend and he often came out to visit us and my aunt and uncle who lived nearby. He was Dutch and served in World War I. He had an interesting accent and we were very fond of him. 

It would seem to me with all the money we send overseas to countries that hate us, we could use that money to build housing for our veterans instead. Maybe this could be part of the infrastructure. The domiciliary worked well for veterans in a small Midwestern town. We need to do better for our veterans and let them be able to have their dogs with them, or cats. 

Our Rep. Mike Garcia has been very good at addressing concerns of our veterans. Thank you, Mike.

Phyllis A. McKenna

Stevenson Ranch

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