Hagan listens as area vets describe problems with care

Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Kay Hagan spent nearly an hour Thursday listening to Charlotte-area veterans talk about their problems getting health care and other benefits.

One told her about having to get up at 3 a.m. to catch a bus to the VA hospital in Salisbury. Another talked about the 14,000 pending claims by N.C. veterans backlogged at a federal office in Winston-Salem.

“People are frustrated because Washington is broken,” Hagan said after meeting the 30 or so vets at American Legion Post 380 on Tyvola Road.

Her appearance came a day after her opponent, Republican Sen. Elizabeth Dole, announced a “Veterans for Dole” steering committee.

A statement that accompanied the announcement touted veterans' legislation she has supported, including a military and veterans health-care bill.

Asked to describe Dole's record, Hagan said, “I don't think she's hearing the same complaints I'm hearing.

“Let me put it this way, my record will be a lot better.”

Said Dole spokesman Hogan Gidley: “When it comes to providing for and supporting the military, Elizabeth Dole is second to no one … except perhaps her own husband. Frankly, I'm embarrassed for Kay Hagan that she suggested otherwise.”

Jim Morrill