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Luetkemeyer Column- Serving Our Valued Veterans


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Most of us know a veteran. Sometimes, they are a neighbor or a friend and, more often than not, they are a family member. It takes a special type of person to raise their right hand and pledge to defend our nation, and in many cases put their life on the line.

As we approach Veterans Day, there will be a slew of events across Missouri and the nation recognizing the efforts of these real-life heroes who have done their duty and are now productive members of our communities. Since the end of the Revolutionary War, our government has saw fit to compensate veterans for their service. Those first benefits were far from what we offer our veterans now, but it forever sealed our nation's commitment to those who serve.

During my nearly four years as your congressman, our staff has dealt personally with hundreds of veterans throughout the 9th District on a variety of issues and in light of the many issues facing our veterans, I felt it was time to take things to the next level of service.

This November 26, in an effort to help veterans better understand requirements for filing service-related claims with the Department of Veterans Affairs, I will be hosting a Veterans' Benefits Workshop from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. at the Washington, Mo., City Hall, 405 Jefferson Street. This workshop will provide free advice and guidance for those that need assistance when filing their veterans' claims applications, completing necessary documents as well as understanding how the VA processes claims. Attendees are encouraged to use City Hall's 4th Street entrance with the meeting set for the city council chambers.

I am also very pleased to announce that a variety of veterans' service organizations will be on hand including representatives from the American Legion, Disabled American Veterans, Missouri Veterans Commission, and Veterans of Foreign War as well as officials from the Department of Veterans Affairs Saint Louis Medical Center and the Department of Veterans Affairs Regional Office. I will open the workshop with staff on hand to provide direct assistance to veterans.

This workshop is designed to ensure that our veterans have the information they need to receive the service they deserve from the Department of Veterans Affairs and we are looking forward to working with these American heroes and assisting them with their questions and concerns. Depending on the interest expressed in this first workshop, we hope to hold similar events in others parts of the district in the future.

And please remember to thank a veteran this Veterans Day, Monday, November 12. It's the least we can do for those who put their lives on the line for our freedom.

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