Letter: Rep. Hice proud to have served local veterans

Dear Editor:
There is no institution in this world that commands such unwavering respect as the United States military. It is our duty as Americans — not just on holidays, but every day — to remember the sacrifices they’ve made and to make certain that our commitments to them and to their families are honored.
That’s why I was pleased to host “Helping Our Heroes” on Saturday, Nov. 18, at the Jefferson County Leisure Center. This veterans’ appreciation event, which I held in partnership with Senator David Perdue and Jefferson County, provided an enjoyable opportunity for me to personally thank our brave men and women for their service to our country. Additionally, we were able to bring together veteran organizations – such as the Georgia Department of Veterans Services, the Augusta Warrior Project, and the Charlie Norwood VA Medical Center – that offer resources and assistance to our veterans and their families.  
I couldn’t have been happier with the outcome of this event or more thankful for the patriots who have proudly served our Nation. With more than 70 in attendance, it was standing room only with dozens of participants staying long after the program.  One such gentleman, whom we had the pleasure of meeting, is a United States Marine who came armed with two letters. Both were Congressional inquiries from my office to the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). Without revealing the details of his particular case, the first letter – a response from Veterans Health Administration – all but denied his initial request. A full year later, the second letter informed him that the VA had reviewed his claims and his medical bills had been paid in full! With a smile on his face, he declared, “This is the first time I’ve ever had a politician help me.” Well, I certainly hope that it’s not the last and that this event went a long way in letting our local heroes know that, from the federal level to the local level, there are many people who are here to help.
So I’d like to say thank you to the advocates who came from as far away as Augusta and Atlanta to those who serve daily in your own local community.  I cannot speak highly enough of the Jefferson County elected officials and employees who gave of their time, as well as community leaders from Jefferson Hospital, the City of Louisville, and the surrounding area who also came out to express their appreciation and demonstrate their support.  We couldn’t have done it without them.  As always, I encourage anyone seeking help with the VA or other federal agencies to reach out to my office at (770) 207-1776.  I can assure you that my dedicated staff will do their best to ensure a favorable outcome for each individual.  May God bless America, and may God bless each and every one of our courageous veterans.
 
U.S. Rep. Jody Hice (GA-10)