Louisville VA holds town hall to rebuild public trust

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by Alex Schuman

WHAS11.com

Posted on September 3, 2014 at 11:41 PM

Updated Wednesday, Sep 3 at 11:41 PM

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) – The Dept. of Veteran Affairs is trying to rebuild trust with the public and those they serve. 

Part of that process includes holding town hall meetings across the country in hopes of connecting those who run the program with veterans, the public, and veterans’ families.

The Louisville Regional Office held their town hall at the Newburg Road Branch of the Louisville Public Library.  This meeting was exclusively between the public and the Veterans Benefits Administration, which handles financial benefits.

Veterans could even meet with staffers who had mobile access to their claims, and the office’s director stood for an hour and a half taking questions.

The odd part about this meeting was that among the small group was an even smaller group of veterans.  Only three or four attended. 

“It appears that nobody knew about this,” Bill Olive, a U.S. Navy Veteran said.  “I believe that there would've been more veterans here if there were more communication out there to the public."

The V.B.A. did make an effort by sending out notes to different offices and news outlets.

“We have some work to do,” David Davis, director of the V.B.A.’s Louisville office said.  “That's one thing about this was we learned a lot."

Davis plans to change their advertising approach for these meetings, and said Wednesday’s meeting gave him a chance to speak with leaders of veteran groups who can help them improve communication.

“Now I have an avenue that I’ll be able to make specific invitations to get them here,” he said.


FOR THOSE VETERANS WHO COULD NOT ATTEND:


The most common piece of advice from Veterans Benefits employees was for veterans, and their families, to get an advocate.  They suggest contacting a local V.F.W. or a formal V.A. advocate so they can look over paperwork before you file a claim.  


THE NEXT MEETING:


WHAT:  Meeting on VA healthcare issues
WHERE: Robley Rex VA Medical Center
WHEN: Wednesday, Sept 10, 2014
 

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