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Veterans Commission

Napa County creates Veterans’ Commission to weigh in on issues

Napa County’s 11,000 veterans will soon have a bigger megaphone to voice their concerns and needs.

The county Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to create the nine-person Veterans’ Commission. This group will make recommendation to supervisors on veterans matters.

“By voting on this commission, you’re saying, ‘We’re listening and we care about your issues,’” local veterans advocate Frank Lucier told supervisors last week.

Almon Bundy, a Vietnam War veteran who served in the U.S. Army, struck a similar note.

“We can’t do it ourselves,” Bundy said. “We need your help.”

Local attorney Naomi Dreskin-Anderson has clients who are veterans. She said she initially had no idea what a challenge it would be to work with the bureaucracy of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

“Anything that this county can do to enhance the well-being of our veterans, we need to make that happen,” she told supervisors.

The county already has the Veterans Advocacy Coalition. But Coalition member Lucier in September told supervisors that veterans face issues that cannot be dealt with by that group.

For example, he said his father-in law who served in the Korean War must take five buses to reach the federal veterans clinic in Martinez. Napa County has no clinic.

County Veterans Service Officer Patrick Jolly said only residents at the Veterans Home of California at Yountville can receive health care from that state facility.