Fort Leonard Wood area residents list concerns to Rep. Hartzler

Hartzler took time to listen to questions and concerns raised by veterans in attendance.

March 22, 2011|by Linda Russell, KY3 News |

ST. ROBERT, Mo. -- New 4th District Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler, a Republican, stopped at American Legion Post 331 on Tuesday to hold what she calls a military listening post.  Hartzler took time to listen to questions and concerns raised by veterans in attendance.

Dwight Nutting is a Vietnam War veteran and a longtime resident of the Fort Leonard Wood area.

"Basically, I retired here.  My last tour of duty was at Fort Leonard Wood," said Nutting.

He came to see Hartzler because he's concerned with veterans' issues, and it's not just for himself but also for his comrades. 

"I'm a volunteer, a van driver for the Disabled American Veterans," Nutting said.

Nutting drives fellow vets to the VA Hospital in Columbia two to three days a week. 

"It's a pleasure to take them up there," Nutting said.

At the listening post, he did hear some good news; a new VA clinic should be open in Waynesville in six to nine months.

"I'm very excited about meeting with the veterans here in this area, hearing their concerns and ideas for what we can do to better serve our military families," said Nutting.

Hartzler wanted to make her feelings about our military clear. 


"There's a lot of dangers in the world right now, a lot of threats, so we've got to keep our military strong, and make sure our defense budget remains a priority," said Hartzler.

Nutting wants to make sure veterans are also a priority, and can receive Army Emergency Relief for basic needs like rent and utilities.  Many end up at the American Legion looking for help.

"That's something I'd like her to look into and find out whey the soldiers there can't get assistance," Nutting said.

Veterans like Nutting were just happy for the chance to make their concerns heard. 

Other topics that veterans brought up include concerns about their incomes, as well as concerns about the success and continued growth of Fort Leonard Wood. 

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