Frustration mounts due to lack of action on veterans issues

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US Marine Corps retiree Tom Devlin says among the key issues veterans are facing on Guam is the inadequate funding for the local veteran affairs office and the need to have a united voice to speak out in Washington and locally. (PNC file photo)

A member of the local veteran community spoke about the recurring issues that affect veterans on island, saying the current set of politicians, just isn’t doing enough.

US Marine Corps retiree Tom Devlin says among the key issues veterans are facing on Guam is the inadequate funding for the local veteran affairs office and the need to have a united voice to speak out in Washington and locally.

He says those are just basic resources that help deliver the services needed for vets on Guam.

For example, after speaking with numerous administrators, Devlin says he’s concerned about the local veteran cemetery that appears to be running out of space.

He says it will likely be full in the next five years. So, what happens then? And he’s worried about how much effort is being put into sourcing a new location. Will that be close by? Or, far away from the current one in Piti?

But the key question, again, is where the funding for a new burial area would come from?

Also, while not necessarily exclusive to the veteran community, Devlin says the island as a whole is suffering from unemployment in the face of COVID-19.

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In an interview with Newstalk K57’s Patti Arroyo this morning, Devlin expressed his frustration with the system.

“There’s something wrong with the system. They have a problem doing the simple things, and we have the leaders coming out here doing the same dog and pony show. I’ve come to the conclusion that our own leaders are at fault. They have to be told straight up. Veterans have to be more demanding to our elected leaders,” Devlin said.

He added that he isn’t aware of much change in Washington either.

Devlin says last week’s general election results reflected whether the legislature really did enough for the people of Guam.

As words of wisdom for incoming politicians, Devlin says: “Just do the job and stop talking the talk and start walking the walk.”

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