One of the big issues that many veterans may feel these days when it comes to how they're treated politically is that they do not have much of a voice with lawmakers despite their service to this country. However, more legislative bodies are moving to increase their interactions with veterans so that these problems don't continue to present themselves in the future.
For instance, Illinois State Rep. Natalie Manley recently held a meeting of what she refers to as her "Veterans Citizens Advisory Committee," an event which allowed veterans, veteran advocates, and other concerned citizens to speak with an elected official about the realities facing former servicemembers, according to a report from the Joliet News-Herald. The first such event attracted more than two dozen people, and a number of important veterans issues were discussed.
Perhaps foremost among them was the challenges veterans face when it comes to receiving quality health care for their various medical needs, and how they can access the many benefits that ought to be available to them, the report said. In addition, many talked about how they felt as though they didn't have as much support in their daily lives as they might need.
"Let's bring people together," Kevin Leverence, a veteran of the Iraq War who suffers from post-traumatic stress, told the newspaper. "One of the best things we can do is find the best things that are already there. We don't need to reinvent the wheel. [Resources for veterans] need more energy. Putting energy, resources and time into those things. … That's where we're going to get bang for your buck."
The more that lawmakers can do to help veterans the better off those former servicemembers will obviously be. However, it might also be wise for veterans to reach out when they feel the need, because assistance might be as close as a phone call away.