Veterans Honored as Veterans Affairs Issues Gain Attention

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ASHWAUBENON, Wis. (WBAY) — Across the country, people celebrated veterans and their service Friday.

It comes at a time where we’re seeing increased awareness of veterans affairs, especially in northeast Wisconsin.

Over the past couple of years, questions have been raised about the quality of care received at V.A. clinics in the state.

Veterans affairs officials have taken the blame for multiple deaths at the Tomah facility, and the Wisconsin Veterans Home at King is currently being audited after allegations of poor care there.

Governor Scott Walker also announced Wednesday that Wisconsin Veterans Affairs Secretary John Scocos is resigning, saying Scocos will pursue other opportunities.

Scocos has denied problems with the quality of care at veterans facilities in the state.

Despite apparent veterans affairs issues, Friday was a special day for veterans.

“It’s one of the happiest days of my life. I love Veterans Day,” said John Hoes, chaplain and U.S. Air Force veteran.

“This is absolutely great because Memorial Day, God bless them, is to support our guys who made the ultimate sacrifice,” Bob Haglund, U.S. Army veteran, said. “This is for the guys that, the guys and gals, that put their time in and did it, and may have had to give the ultimate sacrifice.”

Dozens of veterans gathered at Shopko Hall in Ashwaubenon Friday morning, where they were recognized for their service and recalled the time they served our country.

“I saw a lot of my brothers coming back from Vietnam treated very, very bad,” Hoes said.

Remembering their time in the service wasn’t the only thing on veterans’ minds today, as veterans affairs issues have been in the news a lot lately.

“The reality of what’s actually happening to veterans in nursing homes and assisted living is becoming very aware,” Hoes said.

President-elect Donald Trump said he will do more to help veterans once in office.

The few veterans Action 2 News spoke to said as awareness about veterans’ quality of care continues to grow among both elected officials and the general public, they do think things will change.

“I have every confidence in the world to believe that that system will be changed and corrected very quickly,” Hoes said.