Veteran's Symposium in Baraga

“What we have here is failure to communicate.” That movie quote was an appropriate them at a meeting today in Baraga between veterans and state lawmakers.

A veteran’s symposium was held by state lawmakers, including State Representative Ray Franz and Senior Deputy Director for Veterans Affairs Jason Allen. The forum provided an opportunity for area veterans to express their frustrations with what they call a “lack of services.”

The response from the panel was that services do exist, but veterans either don’t know about them or don’t take advantage of them.

In fact, Michigan ranks near the bottom in the utilization of veteran’s benefits. State Representative Matt Huuki organized the meeting. He said the state legislature should find a way to get the word out.

Other concerns raised at the meeting today included the need for a veteran’s cemetery in the Upper Peninsula, speeding up claims, and budget cuts to services. The panel assured those in attendance that their concerns were heard and would be addressed.