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Dont cut budget on backs of ailing vets
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Dear Editor:

I am shocked and saddened by the news that the governor intends to close the veterans home owned and operated by the state of Georgia in Milledgeville.

State budget cuts will force the Milledgeville domiciliary unit at the Georgia War Veterans Home to close on Nov. 30 of this year. Eighty-one veterans who gave our country the best years of their lives will be forced to move somewhere else. All of these veterans are sick.  And some of them are at risk of being homeless.

Is this how we treat our nation’s heroes?  In the Atlanta Journal Constitution, Georgia Department of Veterans Service Assistant Commissioner Len Glass stated, “those 81 veterans represent .0001 percent of the total (Georgia) veteran population.” That may be true, but that’s no reason to make like they don’t matter. I think that’s more reason to make sure that we give those 81 veterans the best care possible — in an environment that’s comfortable and helps them get better.

I understand budget cuts, but I find it hard to believe that this was the only place Georgia could save $2.7 million, a fraction of the state’s budget. I hope Gov. Perdue will take another look at his financial spreadsheets and do the right thing and keep this home open.  If he doesn’t, it will be up to us as a community to step in and make sure that these veterans are given the proper housing and treatment they need and deserve.

John Barrow
Member of Congress