Coastal Bend Veterans Summit Held Aboard the U.S.S. Lexington - South Texas, Corpus Christi, Coastal Bend

Coastal Bend Veterans Summit Held Aboard the U.S.S. Lexington

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There was a big turnout aboard the U.S.S. Lexington Monday for the Coastal Bend Veterans Summit, where veterans learned about services that are available to them.

Criticism of the Veterans Association was on the minds of many of the veterans in attendance. The Summit, organized by Congressman Blake Farenthold, brought 16 agencies together that offer services to veterans -- everything from helping find jobs and financing for homes to representatives from the government looking into requests for help.

After an opening ceremony to recognize the 250 veterans who attended the Summit, they were free to visit the booths set up around the Lexington hangar deck.

Even Farenthold himself said the VA is not managed correctly, despite being given the funding and tools by congress to help veterans.

"We're not doing a good enough job as a country taking care of our veterans," Farenthold said. "We made promises, but it's taking us months to keep those promises through the VA, through the health care services and the disability system."

"I have been waiting six weeks for the VA to send me to San Antonio or Harlingen to get a cast on my leg," veteran Tony Garza said. "It took me a year and a half to get the shoes for my leg braces."

"This is the first one I've been to, so I can't tell if it's going to be good or not," Vietnam veteran Richard Garcia said.

However, not all the veterans attending the Summit were unhappy. One Iraq veteran found several things to help him in his life.

"I'm going through a transitional stage between school and work, and so it's really important to help me find a job, and to find employers that prefer veterans and things like that," Iraq veteran Luke Iverson said. "As well as looking for a house and stuff like that now that I'm starting a family."

"You come out here and they're the people that back up the help you need," veteran James Garcia said. "It's helpful in some ways."

Farenthold said this is the first of two Veterans Summits to be held in his district this year. The next will be held in Victoria.