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Legislators discuss veterans' issues

 

Miranda Anderson/Daily Globe

From left, Michigan state Reps. Scott Dianda, D-Calumet, David Knezek, D-Dearborn Heights, and Harvey Santana, D-Detroit, speak to an audience of local veterans during a town hall meeting Friday at Wakefield American Legion Post 11.

WAKEFIELD — Michigan state Rep. Scott Dianda, D-Calumet, called for community involvement and focus on veterans’ issues at a town hall meeting Friday at the Wakefield American Legion Geroux Post 11.

Dianda was accompanied by state Reps. David Knezek, D-Dearborn Heights, and Harvey Santana, D-Detroit. The representatives focused their discussion on veterans’ issues.

“Michigan is the last in the country for veterans’ benefits,” Knezek said.

The state representatives proposed various ways of improving the lives of veterans. “We all have to get focused on it,” Dianda said. He emphasized the importance of getting young, politically aware individuals to rally for veterans’ affairs.

Dianda also discussed the idea of consolidating various veterans’ benefits programs like the American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars.

Knezek said all of the state organizations are very confusing and most veterans just want an all-encompassing soldier relief fund.

Santana said as soon as he crossed the Mackinac Bridge, he “started losing track” of the number of VFWs and veterans’ halls.

The representatives stressed the importance of community involvement and novel ideas to create better lives for those who have served their country.

The legislators held a similar meeting Friday evening at the White Pine American Legion. Additional meetings were set in Lake Linden, Mohawk, L’Anse and Iron River through the weekend.

Anyone with comments or suggestions on veterans’ affairs can contact Dianda by mail at S-1489 House Office Building, P.O. Box 30014, Lansing MI 48909; phone at 517-373-0850; fax at 517-373-9303; or email at scottdianda@house.mi.gov.