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Babin listens to questions from veterans

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Washington, October 12, 2016 | comments
Babin listens to questions from veterans
The Baytown Sun | By Matt Hollis
October 12, 2016

U.S. Rep. Brian Babin hosted a Veterans Town Hall at Lee College along with a team of experts who answered questions from former military service members at Lee College Tuesday night.

“The freedoms we hold dear today are because of men and women just like you,” Babin told the veterans. “We’ve heard first hand the problems veterans encounter with (Veterans Administration) medical care and simply not getting answers to the questions. There are some in the VA that have forgotten who they are serving.”

Some of the questions asked by veterans included how to fix the phone system at the VA, what to do about a disability downgrade and how to recover lost records.

Associate Director of the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center Christopher Sandles took a question from Nick Bercaw of Beach City about getting a discount veterans card.

“In the last 12 months, we’ve published a new veterans identification card,” Sandles said. “Just have proof of service. Also, the new card is not like a veterans card. We will keep in touch to solve this problem.”

Cliff Walters, who served as a sergeant in the U.S. Air Force in Vietnam during the early 1970s, inquired about how to help homeless veterans. Sandles and the panel members directed him to booths set up at the event to help him find a way to get shelter.

One veteran, only identified as Jeff from Pasadena, asked about how the VA is helping veterans contemplating suicide.

“We are doing everything possible to get help to them as soon as they show distress,” said Assistant Chief for Ambulatory Care of the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center Dr. Anna Teague. “We do have a system for suicide calls for anyone and we are doing everything possible to reach out to the veterans to help.”

In addition to the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center, the event included representatives from the Veterans Benefits Administration’s Houston Regional Benefit Office, , Houston National Cemetery, Texas Veterans Commission, Disabled American Veterans, Vietnam Veterans of America and the Lee College Veterans Center. Lee College Veteran Center Director Ehab Mustafa was credited with helping to put the event together.

For more information on how to get help for veterans or about the town hall event, contact Babin’s office at 832-780-0966. For assistance through Lee College’s Veterans Center, call 832-556-4300. Other numbers for veterans needing help include DeBakey Medical Center Director Francisco Vazquez at 713-794-7931, Veterans County Service Officer Gil Sosa at Pct. 2 Commissioner Jack Morman’s office at 281-426-2832 and Counselor Rick Pallanez of the Texas Veterans Commission at 713-383-2756.

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Tags: Veterans