Bangor Daily News
By Robert Saucier and John Schneck, Special to the BDN
Posted March 27, 2016
|Rep. John Schneck, D-BangorD-Bangor, is a Vietnam War-era |
veteran who served in the U.S. Navy
Of the estimated 140,000 veterans in Maine, a staggering 76,500 are not enrolled with the federal Department of Veterans Affairs.As lawmakers and members of the Legislature’s Veterans and Legal Affairs Committee, we see the challenges that Maine’s service members often face when they return home to civilian life. As fellow veterans, we are committed to policies that help our fellow servicemen and servicewomen make that transition successfully. The Legislature will soon consider four measures resulting from the work of a special commission that took a hard look at how Maine is delivering services to our veterans.
|Rep. Robert Saucier|
D-Presque Isle, is a veteran of the
U.S. Air Force who also served for
24 years in the Maine Army National
Guard, including as commander of
C Battery in Fort Kent and of
Headquarters Battery in Caribou.
The slate of bills addresses investment in the Maine Bureau of Veterans’ Services as well as homelessness, transportation and higher education. The Commission to Strengthen and Align Services Provided to Maine’s Veterans brought together legislators of both parties, state officials and representatives of veterans of different ages and genders with the common goal of improving the lives of Maine veterans. It was created by legislation from Rep. Jared Golden, D-Lewiston, a Marine Corps veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan who has seen firsthand the needs of this generation. It’s clear that many of Maine’s veterans are falling through the cracks. The state Bureau of Veterans’ Services serves as a clearinghouse of available resources but lacks the resources it needs to keep up with the evolving needs of veterans. read more here