Veterans Village Town Hall with Bernie Sanders


By Megan Way | Photos by Su Phelps
Veterans Village welcomes all 2020 presidential candidates to take a tour of the Veterans Village facility and to participate in a Town Hall organized by Mike Kelly, President of Nevada Democratic Veterans and Military Families Caucus to speak to veterans and local media. On Friday, July 12th, the Nevada Democratic Veterans and Military Families Caucus presented New York Senator Bernie Sanders Town Hall to veterans from Veterans Village and members of the media. Among the attendees was Assemblywoman Brittany Miller.
One of the first questions was from Su Phelps, “Senator Sanders, I’m the President of Society of Military Widows Chapter 34; I’d like to talk about one thing that’s been overlooked since 1972, it’s benefits for widows. There’s a bill called S622 and Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC) offset. It’s a right our husband earned for us, and the Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP) is the insurance that our husband purchased for us; so as a widow if we qualify for both of them, why do we have to be deducted DIC from the SBP.”
Bernie Sanders: “Su raises a very important question I should’ve talked about earlier and that is, when we talk about veterans issues, you’re not just talking about the veteran, you’re talking about the entire family; When we are talking about veterans needs, Su was right in saying, we got to be looking at family needs for the veterans”
From a veteran in the audience,“My question to you is what needs to happen at the end of the month debate, what needs to happen to bring veterans issues to the forefront. What can you do, because I’m conscious of your record; but when you got millions of people watching the debates, that’s not the time to use the veterans name to get a cheap pop from the audience. I think it’s a time to bring forward the many issues on homelessness, education, medical for veterans exclusively.”
Bernie Sanders: “The debates are a kind of a crazy format, where you got 45 seconds to answer, but I think the more important point to find is the issues we’re talking about today, have got to be addressed, dealt with and discussed not only in a democratic debate, but on the floor of the congress.”
Dr. Arnold Stalk, Founder of Veterans Villages thanked the Senator, “You’ve invigorated this group Senator let me tell you; what I wanna say is what I say everywhere I go, there is a solution to this problem. It’s complex, but there is a solution, with us it’s five steps, it’s emergency housing, transitional housing, permanent and rental housing and assisted living; there’s no reason, no reason in the world our veterans should be suffering like this and a forum like this is priceless to us; Thank you”