July 12, 2024

Letter to the Editor: Not the voice of Jasper County veterans

Letter to the Editor

I was one of the first veterans in Jasper County to meet administrator Alyssa Wilson. Her arrival to Jasper County was less than ideal as many felt she could not do the job due to her not being a veteran herself. She has never promised us veterans anything other than she will fight her hardest for us to get our benefits. I supported her in 2022 when the board of supervisors and a commissioner did not want her as the administrator and I continue to support her.

I attended the commission meeting in May where roughly 35 veterans from every era attended in support of Wilson. We have watched her struggle to meet the demand that has been created on the office since her arrival. Her, and the commission have been turned down by the board of supervisors everytime they have requested additional help. Those who have been voted or appointed to represent us, have abandoned Wilson, in turn abandoning us.

When I read the most recent Newton News article about June’s meeting, I was outraged. How could commissioner Spangenberg find that putting the weight of veterans suicides on her shoulder acceptable? Even more aggravating is how chairperson Jerry Nelson allowed commissioner Spangenberg to speak to Wilson like that and then follow up by reminding her that her office works for them. This is NOT the voice of Jasper County Veterans, nor how we want to be represented.

It has become clear, commissioners Ed Spangenberg and Jerry Nelson have forgotten that they, like administrator Wilson, work for us, the Veterans of Jasper County. The Jasper County Veterans Affairs Commission’s antics are unacceptable and calls for an immediate change. If commissioners Ed Spangenberg and Jerry Nelson do not resign prior to the July meeting, the board of supervisors need to remove them and immediately appoint veterans who share the same ideas and voice as the veterans of Jasper County.

Dick Couch

Vietnam Veteran