Disabled American Veterans Bracing for Cuts

1 out of every 6 U.P. adults is a military veteran.

And they’ve had a lot of bad news lately about state funding.

But now, there’s even more.

UGN News recently learned that veterans’ groups are losing 25% of their state funding for this fiscal year.

But just how the state plans to do that is a bit clearer tonight.

The groups won’t receive any state funding at all for the last quarter of fiscal 2009.

That’s July, August and September.

The groups use the money to pay the service officers who help vets obtain their benefits.

The U.P. chapter of Disabled American Veterans says their group’s officers will probably be laid off.

The officers run the DAV’s van program to bring veterans to the V.A. Medical Center in Iron Mountain.

So, those van runs are at risk, too.

DAV Zone 4 Commander Garry Henshaw says they’ll have to at least cut back on the van runs, and they may have to get rid of them altogether.

The DAV just bought a new van for the rides within the last year.

With State Senate Bill 250 also to deal with — which wants to keep the vets’ groups funding under direct state control — the money may never come back.

Henshaw says there would be dire consequences.

He says a lot of people would get hurt if the group had to abandon the service and care aspect of its mission.

By Thursday morning, the DAV will know how they’ll deal with the budget crisis.

And we’ll have more tomorrow night on UGN News on the coping methods they come up with.