Peter DeFazio, who spent an hour discussing veterans issues with an audience of about 40 people. The Springfield Democrat, who represents the 4th District, visited Albany and Corvallis this week as part of 19 town hall meetings scheduled for this summer. Albanys meeting, the 14th in the series, was meant to target questions specifically from veterans. DeFazio doesnt currently sit on committees related to the armed services, but he has two full-time staff members dedicated solely to veteran affairs and receives many calls about services, said Kerry Arndt, DeFazios press secretary. The town hall, she said, is a way to hit many of those questions at once. At the Albany American Legion Post 10, DeFazio led a panel discussion that included Chris Marshall, director of the VA office in Portland; Cameron Smith, director of the Oregon Department of Veterans Affairs; Floss Mambourg, deputy to learn more director of the Portland VA Medical Center; and Steve Broskey, associate director of the VA health care system in Roseburg. A woman who works with students on education benefits for veterans asked if any plans are in the works for a regional center closer to the West Coast. Currently, the closest VA Regional Processing Center for GI Bill claims is in Oklahoma, which serves the entire western portion of the United States and is extremely hard to reach by phone, she said. Marshall responded, saying he had no particular power to create a closer center but said he would speak with officials who might.
Congressman gets earful about health care