McCarter, Solomon host successful conversation with veterans

HARRISBURG, April 16 – State Reps. Steve McCarter and Jared Solomon hosted “A Conversation with Veterans” on Saturday at Salus University in Elkins Park as an opportunity for the legislators to hear directly about the daily experiences and ongoing concerns of our military service members.

The goal: to find meaningful solutions to the problems veterans face in areas of health, finances, education and employment.

The members noted that life after military service presents significant challenges, including embarking on new career paths, finding housing, pursuing further education, coping with unfamiliar civilian demands and addressing psychological fallout – such as PTSD, survivor’s guilt, depression and substance abuse – from traumatic experiences.

“There are many things in Pennsylvania we have done to try to help the veteran population; at the same time, we know there are probably a hundred more things that we have not yet addressed,” said McCarter, D-Montgomery. “We are trying to pinpoint veterans’ needs and concerns so we can identify what we can do in Pennsylvania to help their situations.”

Said Solomon, D-Phila., “The experience of a deployed service member is such a unique one that a lot of people in our society really can’t comprehend what that is about. One of the reasons for this event was to get service members to speak openly about that experience, then we in the legislature can find ways to craft solutions to deal with the issues our veteran population faces.”

Solomon, a captain in the Army Reserves, and McCarter, a veteran, hope this event helps to kick off conversations between veterans and legislators across the commonwealth.

The event was critical, said Salus President Michael H. Mittleman, who served with distinction for more than three decades in the U.S. Navy.

“Having Steve and Jared here actually sponsor the conversation with veterans, to hear what their concerns are, is extremely important,” Mittleman said.

Among the groups present at Saturday’s event: Veterans Readiness Initiative, Salus University; U.S. Dept. of Veterans Affairs; Steven A. Cohen Military Family Clinic, University of Pennsylvania; Vet Center Program; and Montgomery County Office of Veterans Affairs.

If veterans have further concerns or questions, they may contact the offices of McCarter (215-572-5210) or Solomon (215-342-6340).