Veterans Say Best Honor Would Be Better Benefits - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

05/29/05

Veterans Say Best Honor Would Be Better Benefits

A little rain did not put a damper on a group coming to celebrate what they believe makes America what it is today - former and current members of the nation's military.

But some believe the ultimate honor for our servicemen and women is for the government to provide better healthcare and benefits.

Vietnam veteran Bruce Landry is one of them.

He says he received a draft notice before he received his high school diploma, and now, he is struggling to make ends meet, which he believes is unfair.

"Medicine is one of the most expensive things that we have to, either the VA furnishes it for us or we have to go to a pharmacy and buy it, a local pharmacy, and that is 55-percent of my income right there, almost 600 dollars a month and stuff like that," said Landry.

Former U.S. representative Ronnie Shows, who served as the program's guest speaker, has been hearing these complaints for years, and even though he no longer holds a public office, he continues to fight for military rights.

He believes with the recent BRAC closure recommendations, military members should have at least one perk when it comes to healthcare.

"I really believe that if a person serves this country for 20 years and they retire of this, when they go to the hospital and they've got that veteran's card or that military retiree card, that card ought to be honored at any hospital in the United States and not just a select few," said Shows.

He says on this Memorial Day, the nation should adequately provide for our military members, the way they have provided for us.

According to the Department of Veterans Affairs, there are about 25 million veterans currently living in the U-S, and nearly three of every four served during war or an official period of hostility.

By Karla Redditte

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