My Turn, Your Turn: Honoring our veterans

By Gary McNair - bio|email

Every year in November we salute our veterans for what they did for this country.   We thank them for the freedoms we all enjoy.

At the same time, we are often reminded how we are letting these same veterans down.   In many instances we've done a poor job of providing benefits.  Or we force them to travel long distances to receive those benefits.

Well, here in Wilmington that is about to change. Earlier this week, plans were unveiled to build a veterans' health care facility by 2011.  The one-hundred thousand square foot facility is going to be expensive - about $95 million.

Now, those who know me well also know I don't care much for big government spending.  But as far as I'm concerned, this money is well spent.

Currently, when veterans from this area need health care, they are forced to drive all the way to Fayetteville. They deserve better – much better.

For what these men and women did, and the sacrifices they've made, we need not only honor them on November the 11th.  We need to do everything we can to try to repay them for their service to our country, and that means making their benefits readily available.

That's my turn.  Now it's your turn.  To comment or this segment, or anything else, email me at

Emailed responses from viewers:

I am a veteran that currently has to drive all the way to Fayetteville. At times VA care is worse than being on welfare. If you don't fight and fight hard for good care what you get is subpar at best. Not all veterans are retired and can take a full day to drive 2 hours or so each way to a doctors appointment. That's a full days missed work and gas/time, etc. Then, usually you can't even get the treatment, care that you really need in the end anyway. I hope that the facility they plan to build in Wilmington comes with better care as well.


I agree with your comments that we need to honor our veterans more. There are many, many honorable men and women who have protected many freedoms for many different peoples. They deserve special treatment for that.
My objections come for lifetime payments for venereal diseases contracted while on active duty. My objections extend to those in the service who smoke for years and years (active duty and) after they've separated from the military and therefore get smoking related illnesses... such as COPD, asthma, reactive airway disease, chronic bronchitis and cancer. And, how about those retired military who abuse their bodies with alcohol, "recreational" drugs and excesses in eating... we're paying out billions of dollars for their diabetic and cardiac care and they're taking advantage of the GI benefits at our expense. To this i object. If soldiers are injured in a military conflict or in any activity in the line of duty, they need to be taken care of, but those indulging in excesses after separating from the military need to be cut off immediately!!!!

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