I proudly served in the Marine Corps for five years. I know firsthand the toll war has taken on my brothers and sisters. I know the value of life and liberty, and I take them very seriously.
A 2017 Department of Veteran Affairs Report found suicide rates among middle-aged to older Veterans remains high, with 65% of all veteran suicides carried out by veterans aged 50 and older. The Lake Almoner Basin is home to a very high percentage of veterans, about 11% of residents have served. Plumas County has the highest percentage of Veterans compared to all other California Counties, around 1775. It is imperative this population receives more programs to help them live the best life they possibly can. Examples of positively affecting Veterans overall welfare would be bringing Drug Court back, and more diverse rehabilitative services offered. We all know Plumas County has a problem with narcotics. We, as a community, should be focused more on rehabilitation programs instead of locking people up with dependency and mental health issues. I truly believe no one is perfect and offering a safety net for these individuals is imperative to improving the safety and welfare of all our citizens.
We also need to do better by our female veterans. I don’t understand why we don’t have a VA Clinic closer than Susanville or Chico. Chester deserves a Health Center and a VA Representative here on a consistent basis. Enough with the shuttles and an hour commute one-way in dangerous weather conditions!