Veeder announces retirement; Bogan requests vets’ program

St. Mary Parish Veterans Affairs officer Earl Veeder bade farewell before the St. Mary Parish Council Wednesday.

Veeder is retiring at the end of June after eight years in the position.

“I’m ready to go home and play a little bit,” Veeder said. “Take it easy.”

Veeder said the VA office expenditures benefit the parish in the form of medical services, student and home loans, pensions and compensations, which he said is “cash money that is going into the pockets of veterans here in St. Mary Parish. Also to some of the nursing homes. It plays a big part in the economy, it helps a lot of people and if you multiply by seven what a dollar does here it’s very significant.”

The State of Louisiana received nearly $1.8 billion in VA funds last year, he said.

“We have seen somewhat of a steady but small decline in the veteran population here in the parish,” Veeder said. “We’ve lost a lot of World War II vets, and the Korean guys are getting up in age. I’m an old Vietnam vet, and I feel like I’m getting kinda old too. We’re all reaching that age when we might need a little medical care. We now have the VA clinic here in Franklin, and those numbers are steadily going up in terms of patient load.”

He thanked the council for their support of the office.

Also Wednesday, Mark Bogan said the council needs to be doing more to recognize veterans.

“It’s time to start doing something for veterans,” Bogan said.

He proposed a dinner for veterans sponsored by the parish council and St. Mary Community Action Agency which parish council president Kevin Voisin said he was working on.

“I even feel myself that I’m being pushed aside,” Bogan said. “None of you guys ever come and say ‘Thank you, Mr. Bogan, for serving.’ Every time I run into a veteran, I greet him the same way.”

He said there are over 800 veterans in the area.

St. Mary Now & Franklin Banner-Tribune

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