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Veterans, leaders address benefit concerns

READ MORE: Veterans, leaders address benefit concerns

WILMINGTON, NC - They helped protect our country. Now local veterans want some help and protection for themselves. Hundreds met with lawmakers today at a town hall meeting to hash out the issues.

Veterans benefits services are not mandated by the federal government. They fall under discretionary spending, so the uncertainty has veterans worried about their retirement, healthcare and their families.

Veterans say they're frustrated by all the paperwork they need to fill out to get their benefits and the long waits that follow. They're determined to make government hear their voices.

"All I can do is exercise my right to vote and put the appropriate people, who I think will go to bat for myself and my brothers, in office and hope for the best," Gabriel Castleberry said.

Rep. Walter Jones says we have to make taking care of veterans a top priority. The key to providing for veterans in the future is to limit our global spending now.

The US Senate recently passed a bill for advance funding that will provide veterans services for the next two years. That's the first time that's ever been done.

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