On November 6th we held our fourth annual Fishing Dreams event for disabled veterans on Table Rock Lake. This year 50 disabled veterans, volunteers and I set out Wednesday morning with the sole intention of letting these veterans unwind on the lake.
My office always works in tandem with Fishing Dreams and Bass Pro Shops to invite disabled veterans to spend a day fishing out on the water and enjoy lunch afterwards. When these men and women joined the military, whether they were drafted or enlisted, they understood protecting our nation’s freedom could come at a great personal cost; yet they did not waiver. Unfortunately, for the 50 veterans that joined us, they all sustained injuries related to their service. Inviting these servicemembers to go fishing with us and celebrating them is the least we can do. They always get a kick out of catching more fish than I do. Our nation is free because of our servicemen and women who have dedicated their lives to preserving our liberties, and we owe it to them not only to say thank you but to demonstrate our gratitude.
At lunch, I had the pleasure of visiting with these veterans and presented each one with their own American flag that I had flown over the US Capitol in honor of their service. Spending time with them and hearing their stories ignited an even stronger desire to better serve our veterans and ensure that they are properly cared for. Part of my role as a Member of Congress includes helping veterans navigate the often complicated and frustrating red tape of federal agencies; when they encounter roadblocks with the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) or Social Security, my office is able to assess the situation and look for ways we can help. This year alone, I have helped 347 veterans close their pending cases with federal agencies, and I look forward to closing more by the end of the year. If you are a constituent of mine currently encountering problems with the VA or any federal agency, I would encourage you to reach out to my Springfield office at (417) 889-1800. My constituent services staff has a great deal of experience navigating federal agencies and are there to serve you.
Each year, I am humbled to spend time with the disabled veterans who participate in the Fishing Dreams event. It was an honor to join these veterans, and I am grateful to Fishing Dreams and Bass Pro Shops for once again hosting a successful event.
For more information on my activities in our district and in Washington I encourage you to follow my Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/Rep.Billy.Long and my Twitter page at https://twitter.com/USRepLong. You can also subscribe to my weekly newsletter, "Long's Short Report,” by visiting https://longforms.house.gov/newsletter-and-email-updates-form