Congressman Austin Scott Holds Town Hall with Over 200 Veterans
TIFTON, GA – U.S. Congressman Austin Scott (GA-08) today held a Veterans Town Hall for Eighth Congressional District veterans and their families. Over 200 people attended the event.
“As Members of Congress, one of our greatest duties is to ensure that our nation’s veterans receive the care and recognition they deserve,” said Congressman Austin Scott. “Today’s event served as an important forum for veterans to ask questions and voice their opinions, but also gave me the opportunity to hear directly from Eighth District veterans so I can take their stories back to Washington to better serve them in Congress.”
Joining Congressman Scott at the event was Al Bocchicchio, Director of the VA Regional Office in Atlanta, and Maryalice Morro, Director of the Carl Vinson Medical Center in Dublin. The three officials took questions from the veterans regarding medical benefits, mental health assistance, and what Congress is doing to fix backlogs at the Department of Veterans Affairs.
Some veterans had questions regarding the new VA Clinic in Tifton. Morro stated that the VA is in the middle of working on a Tift County clinic, and although she could not give a hard opening date, the clinic should be open for primary care in 2016.
Congressman Scott provided an overview of ways his office can be of service to veterans and discussed his work in Congress on veterans’ issues. In the past seven months, the House of Representatives passed 19 bills focused on improving veterans’ health, holding the VA accountable, and increasing veteran employment and housing.
“The House of Representatives has been working diligently to ensure that veterans get the care they deserve by passing legislation that provides a much needed system of checks and balances in the VA,” said Congressman Austin Scott. “Our country was founded on checks and balances, and the VA should be no different.”
“My Grandfather was a B-17 pilot for the Air Force and a POW for 18 months, and he spent over five years having to prove to the VA that he had been a POW and was wounded in battle even after being awarded with medals for his service,” said Congressman Austin Scott. “These stories are far too common and unacceptable, which is why Congress passed legislation to require the VA to issue veterans identification cards eliminating the need for veterans to carry around official military service records.”
The Veterans ID Card Act of 2015 was signed into law by the President on July 20, 2015. Congressman Scott also highlighted another piece of veterans legislation signed into law by the President on February 12, 2105. The Clay Hunt Suicide Prevention for American Veterans (SAV) Act aims to diminish the number of veteran suicides by increasing access to mental health care and increases capacity at the VA to improve its quality of mental health care.
In addition to the town hall forum, veterans attending the event were able to receive individual assistance from VA representatives by visiting various outreach tables set up with information about housing, mental health, and medical care.
Congressman Austin Scott has two district office locations available to help with veterans’ casework. Staff members in the Tifton Office and the Warner Robins Office are able to assist veterans with education benefits, medical benefits, and military medals or awards, among other things. For more information, or if you are a veteran in need of federal benefit assistance, please call the Tifton Office at (229) 396-5175 or the Warner Robins Office at (478) 971-1776.