Senator Nelson Speaks with Local Veterans

Aug 8, 2018 \\ Chelsie Taddonio, My Panhandle

PANAMA CITY Fla. - Veterans from around Bay County expressed concerns to U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson at a round table meeting in Panama City.

Sen. Nelson spoke with veterans about a piece of legislation he is proposing, that would protect the military from being taken advantage of by payday loans. The legislation would cap the interest rate at 24 %. He says this is so... "the poor member of the service doesn't keep building up these loans that they can't pay. And then have to declare bankruptcy."

The veterans didn't comment much on the legislation because they were eager to discuss certain matters; and the conversation quickly turned to Veterans Affairs. After talking for about an hour Sen. Nelson had a clear picture of their concerns.

"They have excellent care, they're very happy with the va doctors and nurses. But it's the administrative problem," said Nelson.

VFW Commander of District 17, Tony Salvo continued to explain the dilemma with the VA. "If you go to get an appointment sometimes it takes 4 to 6 to 8 weeks... It's just too long."

The veterans also brought up homelessness among veterans within Bay County. "Veterans particularly coming out of Vietnam have always had a real homeless problem, " said Nelson.

"We do know that the VA is in the process of fixing the homeless problem. They're in the process of building homes and areas for these veterans to live. It's gonna be a long slow walk before we get there," said Salvo.

Sen. Nelson took these concerns to Tallahassee, where he met with the Secretary of Veterans Affairs on Aug. 07, 2018.  

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