A public hearing will be held on Monday, June 18 to determine whether an Oakland County Veterans Commission is needed, and county officials are looking for input from veterans of the U.S. armed services.
The hearing, scheduled from 7 to 9 p.m. in the Oakland County Board of Commissioners Auditorium located at 1200 N. Telegraph Road in Pontiac, will include members of the county board, the Oakland County Veterans Services Department and the Oakland County administration.
In addition, veterans in attendance will learn in detail about the variety of services for them that the county offers.
Commissioner John Scott (R-Waterford, West Bloomfield), a veteran of the U.S. Navy, has said that he wants the input from county veterans on what services they need the county to improve on or begin offering.
“The purpose of this is to really determine whether we need this commission,” he said. “We’ve got our Veterans Affairs and all the powers that be throughout the state or federal government working on veterans issues. If something is missing at the county level, we’re going to have to address that.”
Commissioner Jim Nash (D-Farmington Hills), a veteran of the U.S. Army, in which he served as a medical specialist from 1977 to 1980, has called for the establishment of a Veterans Services Advisory Council, which he proposed to be a 25-member panel that would help better collaborate with human service agencies dealing with servicemen and servicewomen.
That proposal was effectively scuttled in the committee process after it was introduced in October.
Nash said he had been sending information about the town hall gathering to his Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) post.
“I want to make sure folks get there,” he said. “The question isn’t whether or not the county is doing enough for vets. We do a lot for vets. The biggest impediment to veterans getting services that they need is them not knowing they’re available for them,” which is why Nash said he proposed the commission.
“Let’s gather the data,” Scott said. “If we aren’t taking care of our veterans’ needs, what do we need to do to get it down?
“We want to draw a crowd. We want to fill the place,” Scott said, adding that letters have gone out to every VFW chapter in the county, as well as other organizations serving veterans.