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News14.com - Veterans concerned cuts could affect them

August 23, 2011
In The News

By Loretta Boniti

Video

RALEIGH – Members of Veterans for Benefits Justice gathered in Durham Tuesday to voice their concerns over national debt issues to Congressman David Price. They say their top concern is that forthcoming cuts at the federal level could include them.

"We're on the table too, because we're federal government mandated," said Thaddeus McNeil, a Vietnam veteran and chair of the Veterans for Benefits Justice. "You know the VA checks, VA medication, everything as far as healthcare, dental is on the table."

For about an hour, Price listened as veteran after veteran laid out concerns over mental health, dental and other benefit services. Price says clearly legislators will be faced with tough decisions as they work to reduce the national deficit by about one and half trillion dollars.

"Nobody has a blank check and so veterans programs like all other programs need to be efficient need to be well run- need to avoid waste," said Rep. David Price, a Democratic Congressman from the 4th District.

Price says that being said, veterans remain a top priority for both sides of the aisle.

"This is not something that very many Americans are going to dispute, I think," he said. "We know what we owe to these men and women who served us. They sacrificed and we need to keep our promises".

McNeil says he hopes this is true. But in the meantime, veterans will continue their fight.

"All we can do is hope and pray that when the government decides on what its budget is going to be," McNeil said. "Our name is at the front line."