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Public Statements

Weekly Column: Happy to Help

Statement

By:
Date:
Location: Unknown

Happy to Help

Dear Nebraskans,

The office of a United States Senator is always busy. We devote many hours to researching and drafting legislation, meeting with constituents, and responding to your questions and concerns. There is another very important function of a Senate office, one that is far less known. We help Nebraskans access and interact with the federal government. Whether you are frustrated by bureaucratic inefficiency or experiencing a problem in your community that involves a federal agency or regulation, my dedicated staff and I are ready and willing to point you in the right direction, or to help cut through red tape. Here are a few examples of how we have helped Nebraskans.

I am particularly pleased when my office is able to successfully assist one of our military veterans. There are more than 150,000 veterans in Nebraska, and at times they experience long waits or bureaucratic red tape when attempting to navigate the Veterans Administration (VA). My staff has assisted veterans with receiving benefits and other issues. One veteran contacted my office when the VA would not renew his medicine prescription. We arranged an appointment for that same day. Not only was his prescription renewed, a previously undiagnosed medical condition was discovered. I am very pleased that my staff was able to help resolve what could have been a life or death situation.

One case I am particularly proud of concerned the burial of a Wendell Rivers, a Vietnam War veteran and seven year prisoner of war, whose family had requested a flyover. We all understand why flyovers cannot be scheduled for every veteran. But the funeral for this Navy Captain was a very special case, and my staff made contacts to alert Navy leadership to the special circumstances. To its credit, the Navy announced it would do a flyover to honor this distinguished hero. It was a priceless moment for his family.

My staff has also been effective at resolving issues that can affect entire communities. When a Nebraska community recently faced the closing of their only bank, we helped to successfully bring another bank to the area. In fact, the new bank opened this week and the citizens of this community continue to have a resource for financial services.

Sometimes the issue is as simple as inaccurate federal records, which can be very frustrating when the records in question affect other aspects of life. Recently, a Nebraskan contacted my office who had been working to correct Social Security earnings records for several years. Within two weeks of working with a Social Security representative, the issue was resolved and his record was corrected.

If you have a problem or issue that involves the federal government, please feel free to contact any one of my offices throughout Nebraska or in Washington, DC so we can help you. Serving Nebraskans is one of my highest priorities, and we will do all we can to assist you. Contact information for my offices can be found at www.johanns.senate.gov.

Sincerely,


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