On the Monday before Veterans Day, Boston City Councilors Sal LaMattina and Felix G. Arroyo held a hearing at City Hall to ensure Boston veterans are provided with a safe and healthy environment when returning home from Iraq or Afghanistan.
The hearing, attended by many veteran organizations, also concentrated on making sure veterans all have the necessary tools to facilitate their reintegration into civilian life.
"With both wars depleting our current economy, I am deeply concerned that the resources to protect our members of the military will not be sufficient when they return home," Councilor LaMattina said. "It is also very important to me that our veterans from previous wars get the proper services and recognition they deserve," he added.
"Veterans risked their own lives for our country. We should show them our respect and admiration for their sacrifice to our nation by providing them with services they need and deserve when they return," Councilor Arroyo said.
The City of Boston Veterans Services, New England Center for Homeless Veterans, Veterans of Foreign Wars and the American Legion were among nearly a dozen or so veteran organizations that testified at the hearing.
The hearing provided a great opportunity for veteran groups to learn what new services and programs are available to the men and women who served this country.
Those at the hearing noted that it has to be hard to turn the switch off when the military personnel return from combat back into a civilian lifestyle.
The hearing agenda included housing benefits, civil service jobs, education opportunities and claims support for returning veterans which often becomes an issue as well.
Despite the wide range of programs and services available, veterans are facing several obstacles including being part of the current homeless situation, substance abuse problems and several mental disorder or cognitive impairment.