Veterans want more from City Hall

Ari Merretazon. Rikard Larma/METRO
Ari Merretazon. Rikard Larma/METRO

While they sound similar, Ari Merretazon says there is a stark difference.

The city hosts a Philadelphia Veterans Advisory Commission, which is composed of seven members appointed by the Mayor and City Council President.

The PVAC is directed to consult with government agencies that distribute veterans’ benefits and to advise veterans of entitled benefits.

Merretazon,66, said the PVAC has not had a regular public meeting since 2009.

He points to state law that instructs each county to host a Veterans Affairs Office, which includes a county-appointed director, and advocates for veterans and distributes grant money that the state makes available.

And Philadelphia, he added, is one of only two counties in the state that does not have this office.

“We need an advocate and facilitator at the city level to make sure that veterans who are supposed to receive benefits receive those benefits,” he said. “The PVAC can only advise.”

Merretazon, a decorated Vietnam veteran, said the state law does not allow money to pay a director of a veterans affairs office, and this could be a sticking point.

Mark McDonald, Nutter’s press secretary, said the PVAC links veterans who have problems with the federal VA.

“We have grant writers in the office of supportive housing in the OHCD,” McDonald said. “We get monies from the federal government to address housing and related needs for veterans.”

He added: “It may be that (Merretazon) would want to see a new office created. I think what’s important is that the mayor has an open door.”

“Veterans and their families are suffering, they need resources,” Merretazon said. “And a veterans affairs office would facilitate access to the benefits they already earned. We don’t have any municipal advocate for us that’s why the state setup this office and provided money.”


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Two young children killed in deadly Queens fire

Two 4-year-old children died after a blaze at their Far Rockaway home on Saturday night. The Queens fire injured three others, including a third sibling.

National

Florida man charged with murdering son to play…

A Florida man annoyed that his 16-month-old crying son was preventing him from playing video games suffocated the toddler, police said on Friday.

International

Powerful 7.2 magnitude earthquake rattles Mexico

A powerful earthquake struck Mexico Friday, shaking buildings and sending people running into the street, although there were no reports of major damage.

News

OMG! Exercise can make skin (and butt) look…

A moderate exercise regime can turn back time and actually reverse the skin's aging process, according to new research. The study showed that a minimum…

Television

'Orphan Black' recap: Episode 1, ‘Nature Under Constraint…

Welcome to your first Season 2 “Orphan Black” recap! Hopefully Tatiana Maslany can help Tatiana Maslany get through this, with the help of Tatiana Maslany,…

Entertainment

Whoopi Goldberg makes her debut as marijuana columnist

"It helps my head stop hurting, and with glaucoma your eyes ache, and she takes the ache out. It's wonderful," she said.

The Word

Kate Middleton made fun of Prince William's bald…

Kate Middleton and Prince William are in Sydney, Australia, right now, and it sounds like that brash Aussie sense of humor might be rubbing off.

The Word

Is Tom Cruise dating Laura Prepon?

"Mission: Impossible" star Cruise is said to be dating Laura Prepon, star of "Orange is the New Black."

NBA

Deron Williams leads Nets over Raptors in Game…

The Nets traveled to a raucous Air Canada Centre but came out with an important Game 1 victory over the Raptors.

NBA

Carmelo Anthony agonizing over Knicks future as season…

There’s still the cloud hanging over the franchise’s head as to the pending free-agent status of All-Star forward Carmelo Anthony.

NFL

Jets host players with eye toward NFL Draft

The Jets hosted a number of NFL Draft hopefuls for workouts on Thursday, with an eye toward some under-the-radar players.

NFL

Chris Johnson: I wanted to go to 'a…

Now that Chris Johnson is a Jet, the team has to figure out if one of the most explosive players in the NFL over the last half decade has anything…

Parenting

Is camp right for introverts?

We ask an expert for tips on sending your introverted child to camp

Parenting

How to parent without gender stereotypes in a…

Christia Spears Brown, Phd. author of "Parenting beyond Pink & Blue" gives advice on raising kids free of gender stereotypes.

Tech

VIDEO: 'Vein-scanning' may become the future of paying

Designed to make transactions quicker and easier, the technology works by scanning the unique vein patterns in each person's palm.

Tech

#FollowFriday: 10 of the smartest Twitter accounts

Spending lots of time on Twitter? You might as well learn something. Here are some of the smartest accounts to follow.