April 10, 2015

Manchin talks with veterans | Dominion Post

MORGANTOWN — Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., hosted a roundtable of West Virginia veterans Thursday afternoon, April 9, at WVU’s Erickson Alumni Center.

About 40 veterans and a few spouses attended the closed-door session to share their views on veterans’ physical and mental health issues. They ranged in rank from private to general, from service in the Mideast to service in Vietnam.

Attendees talked about care at VA hospitals, drug abuse, homelessness, post-traumatic stress disorder, unemployment and suicide.

Manchin serves on the Armed Services Committee and the Committee on Veterans’ Affairs. He said after the meeting that this advisory group will meet three to four times a year to advise him on various issues related to his committee responsibilities.

“We have always been one of the tops in the country as far as per capita of veterans — people who have sacrificed and lost their lives for the cause of their country and freedoms,” Manchin said. “They serve, put their lives on the line, then have to return and re-integrate into society.”

When they come back, he said, “Are we helping them?”

After the meeting, Manchin took a question on his possible run for governor. He expects to decide no later than Memorial Day, perhaps sooner. He heads back to Washington, D.C., next week for Senate work.

He said he aims to “find out where I feel that it’s best I can serve my state and my country. I want to make sure that my state of West Virginia and my people are represented properly. Do I do the best job there or do I come home? It’s ultimately up to the people, not me.

By:  David Beard