Minority Affairs Committee Update November/December 2018

BY GUMERSINDO GOMEZ, CHAIR

The Minority Affairs Committee seminar at the Leadership & Education Conference in Palm Springs was a great success. We hope to present information from it in future issues of The Veteran so that members can make themselves familiar with the material and put it into practice to recruit minority veterans. The beauty of this material is that it was developed by VVA members.

The situation in Puerto Rico is critical for veterans. Even a year after Hurricane Maria, veterans continue to have difficulties getting medical services from the VA. Three clinics—in Arecibo, Mayaguez, and Ponce—are still working out of tents and trailers.

On November 8 there was a roundtable discussion at Fort Buchanan with representatives from the Veterans Health Administration, National Cemetery Administration, the Department of Defense, Department of Agriculture, Small Business Administration, and Housing and Urban Development, local government officials, veterans service organizations, and other organizations to discuss veterans’ economic well-being in Puerto Rico.

At this roundtable for military service members, veterans, and their families, officials discussed programs related to housing, educational and career development, financial literacy, estate planning, and health. President John Rowan directed me to travel to Puerto Rico to represent VVA and to discuss the issues surrounding this critical situation. I will report on that meeting in my next column.

I would like to thank VVA minority veterans who have contacted me with their issues and encouraged me to continue to represent them. Please send your comments to Sgtgomez@aol.com or ggomez@vva.org We value your opinion.


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