Tuesday, January 26, 2010

OWH: "Hagel speaks up for vets"

The Omaha-World Herald has a piece out, "Hagel speaks up for vets."

Hagel praised the At Ease program as a potential national model, saying local public-private partnerships could be the quickest and most compassionate way to get veterans the help they need.

The government is spending billions of dollars annually trying to help veterans, he said, but “our circuits are overloaded” after nine years of war and a crippling recession.

Nonprofits, religious groups and businesses must step up, he said, ignoring old assumptions that only veterans wearing a sling or a bandage are in need of serious help.

“We can't let (returning veterans) just drift,” Hagel said. “We don't say, ‘Well, it looks like you don't have a problem. You look fine.'”

Former Senator Hagel has continued to be a leading voice on veterans issues, particularly those facing the soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan.

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