Military Appreciation Month: Veteran concerns

COLUMBUS, Ga. — Throughout the night we will be paying tribute to those who made the ultimate sacrifice for us to have freedom in the United States. We’re taking time to honor those who fought the good fight, but who often struggle with transitioning back to normal life.

Former Columbus Mayor and Veteran Bob Poydasheff sat down with News to talk about some of the obstacles veterans office face, when transitioning to civilian life.

“I think it’s a great idea to recognize, freedoms aren’t free,” says Bob Poydasheff.

Poydasheff served in the Army for 24 years. He says veterans have their fair share of trials.

“First of all, it’s difficult in many respects to come from one environment to a completely unknown environment,” says Bob Poydasheff.

Poydasheff says the clinic at 13th Street and 13th Avenue in Columbus does what it can to service its veterans. He says there are others in the valley who do the same.

“Working with Fort Benning, the leadership at Martin Army Hospital we’re able to have a veterans portion there for them to go and get treatment,” says Bob Poydasheff.

Poydasheff says there have been Columbus veteran hospital talks.

“We’re working now to get a hospital here. We’d like it to be in Columbus South so that people that have no means or lesser means have an easy access to veterans care, hospital care, rather than running all the way to Tuskegee or creating a situation in North Columbus,” says Bob Poydasheff.

Poydasheff says there are other obstacles veterans often face.

“The filing the claims and being recognized for disabilities, etc. is taking an inordinate amount of time,” says Bob Poydasheff.

Poydasheff says it can take years from some of them to be recognized.

“I’m hoping that eventually they’ll get that bureaucratic problem out of the way so that when a veteran files at least within a couple of months or six months at the very most.. they’ll be able to get recognized and get their benefits that they deserve,” says Bob Poydasheff.

Poydasheff says overall, he’s proud of the way the valley services it’s more than 50,000 veterans.

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