VA aims to help local veterans through town hall meeting

DETROIT (WXYZ) - More than three dozen veterans attended a veterans town hall put on by the Department of Veterans Affairs regional office here in Detroit.

The veterans from all military backgrounds came together in an effort to not only learn what the VA was doing for them but also to learn how they could get help.

Maria Reisner served in the Navy more than 20 years ago. Today, she's hoping to learn more about benefits she's entitled too and get some much needed help that she hasn't seemed to be able to get.

"I was just having some problems with some paperwork and stuff and was hoping someone here downtown can help me out with it," Reisner said.

Today's town hall is one of more than 50 taking place across the country over the next several weeks. In light of the recent scandal that rocked the Veterans Administration, it's the hope of David Leonard to use these meetings to help build confidence in trust in the department once again. Leonard serves as the Director of the Regional office for Veterans Affairs. Their office is located in the McNamara Federal Building in Detroit.

"We're trying to dialog with them in what we're doing to try to help them," Leonard tells 7 Action News. "We're also sitting down with them as individuals, going directly through their claims information and giving them an opportunity, one-on-one, to work on what their specific issues are," he said.

Leonard says the backlog of claims has gone down dramatically. At one point there was more than ten thousand claims and today there are far less. That's due in large part, he says, to the ongoing effort of the VA to process more claims and help veterans.

Claims processors were on hand to help those who attended today's meeting.

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