Almost 200 veterans got warm meals from the Southwest Florida Military Museum’s weekly luncheon on Tuesday. That’s a regular occurrence in Cape Coral, where the museum is one of several organizations dedicated to aiding veterans of all eras.
But Tuesday’s luncheon had a special guest. Tami Holliday, regional director for Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Orlando, was on hand to provide constituent service.
“It’s office hours where we come to them instead of them coming to us,” Holliday said. “A lot of these folks are older so it is usually issues with the (Department of Veterans Affairs), Medicare, things like that. But anything that involves a federal agency, we do our best to help them go through those processes.”
More than 193 veterans showed up for the meal, commiserating with fellow service members from their respective conflicts and branches. There was plenty of inter-service mingling.
One veteran, Sal Valente, wanted to know if there was anything Nelson’s office could do about recognition for those Vietnam War veterans exposed to the chemical known as Agent Orange.
“They do suffer from the effects, obviously, but there’s no Purple Heart for it,” Valente, a three-tour veteran of Vietnam, said. “So I just wanted to know if there was just some kind of recognition that we could get.”
Harry Bowen didn’t know if Holliday could help him out as his issue wasn’t with the federal government but difficulties with his insurance company. Facing a lien on his…
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