Rhinelander listening session
3:40 pm
Wed August 28, 2013

Secretary, Legislators Hear Veteran's Concerns

Veterans Affairs Sec. John Scocos, Reps. Czaja, Swearingen, Sen. Tiffany
Credit WXPR

The state Secretary of Veterans Affairs met with area veterans Wednesday  at a listening session in Rhinelander. He was joined by three Northwoods state legislators.

Secretary John Scocos says the current state budget has more money in it to fund veteran's programs, including money for families and education. One program would help veterans begin new businesses...

"....what we found in the last three years is veterans want to start businesses. One of the biggest stumbling blocks is paying for all the legal start up costs and so forth to get going. We know from our experiences that $300,000 dollars can start 150 small businesses...."

Many vets had concerns about the federal Veteran's Administration health care. Scocos said a new veteran's facility is opening in Green Bay and could help alleviate some wait times. Rhinelander also has a VA medical facility.

Rhinelander veteran, David Melancon has been treated for cancer at the Mayo Clinic. He says he meets other Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom era veterans also undergoing treatment. He hopes state legislators could prompt the UW-Medical complex to begin a study. 

"....I watch a lot of Wisconsin Public Television and one of the (underwriters) is the Carbone Cancer Center...I figure Wisconsin has a fine cancer center and a lot of Wisconsin veterans, that might be a good place for them to start(a study on cancer)...."

Hosting the listening session were State Senator Tom Tiffany, and state Representatives Rob Swearingen and Mary Czaja.