Sen. Warnock vows to address ‘unacceptable’ delays faced by Atlanta military veterans

Georgia U.S. Sen. Raphael Warnock met with Atlanta military veterans to hear about the issues they are struggling with.

Emil Moffatt/WABE News

Georgia U.S. Sen. Raphael Warnock met with officials from the Atlanta Veterans Administration Monday to discuss issues facing those who’ve served in the U.S. military.

It comes just a few days after Warnock toured the Veterans Empowerment Organization in Atlanta. The facility helps veterans struggling with mental or physical health issues, looking for a job or experiencing homelessness.

“This is an amazing program,” Warnock said. “I toured a transitional housing program here. I’ve heard the stories of veterans who were homeless and are now gainfully employed. They have been given the support that they need to move into self-sufficiency.”

Warnock then had a chance to sit down and hear veterans’ experiences — the good and the bad.

Georgia U.S. Sen. Raphael Warnock meets with military veterans at the Veterans Empowerment Organization in Atlanta. (Emil Moffatt/WABE)

“Sometimes bureaucracies have gaps and disconnects,” Warnock said. “I heard some of that here today and much of it is unacceptable.”

He told those in attendance he would take those concerns to VA officials.

“I have been in conversation with the Veterans Administration and I’ve written letters to make sure that they’re following up on various inspector general reports, making sure that our veterans have access to efficient, equitable care,” Warnock said.

Warnock has also sponsored legislation that directs the Government Accountability Office to look into disparities in how benefits are being delivered to veterans of color.

His visit with veterans in Atlanta, some of whom served in Afghanistan, came amid the chaotic rush of evacuations in that country.

“The images that we’re seeing right now underscore just how much we ask of our men and women in uniform,” Warnock said. “It just reminds us to ask them that is no small thing.”

WABE’s interview with Warnock came before Thursday’s terrorist attack in Afghanistan that took the lives of 13 American service members.