Letters to the Editor
As I sit here in my “man cave”, having just been online to read the Pioneer Tribune which, in addition to many other things, mentioned the uncertainty still surrounding the “Manistique Light”. All I really have to do to be reminded is to look up. A very, very dear friend of mine had taken lovely photos of the lighthouse from different angles, and distances; had them framed and gave them as a “special gift”.
She knew that to me and to many others, the lighthouse stands as our biggest reminder of home. She knew that the pictures would be loved and cherished, since a life ending ailment made it virtually impossible to visit “home and lifelong friends”.
I now live in the Southwesst and am no longer a county taxpayer, my opinion can only be a sentamental one. I just really hope that a way is found to keep the “Lady of Manistique” a vital part of the community!
God Bless all in this, the season of His son’s birth.
Alec (Phonse) Moffat
I would like to address an issue that my family has recently had to contend with. That being the length of time and cooperation it takes to get anything done in Manistique for veterans. My father recently needed home health care. We were told because he was a veteran, he may qualify for help. There is help for veterans called Aid and Assistance. You can qualify for this even if you do not have service-connected disabilities. My sister and I visited the local office and started the process. What a long, drawn out ordeal. There were many visits with just as many excuses. We finally figured out that the squeaky wheel got the grease and started visiting as often as we could. Eventually we got dad in the system. It took over a year and much frustration.
Soon, dad and mom could not stay at home alone and needed to go into assisted living. We heard the VA could help us with this. Again, we headed to our local office for help. Dad was already in the system, how hard would it be to update his case? We started in January and at the end of May still had not got any further. My sister happened to be commenting about it at assisted living and one of the other resident’s family heard her. They had gone through the same thing and decided to try another approach. They contacted another VA agent and got help. They gave us his number and we contacted him. We had to drive to Munising, but it was worth it. We met with him on May 28th and by mid- August he got a check from the VA for back help, and help for as long as he stays there.
The point is, I would urge everyone out there wondering if there is help for veterans, the answer is yes. However, you must be persistent, have patience and most of all, run away from the Manistique VA office. I urge you to contact Mr. Patrick Holcomb. He works out of the Marquette office. He prefers you to contact him via email because he is on the road so often. His phone number is (906) 225-3576, ext.318. His email is firstname.lastname@example.org. He not only goes to Munising, he also has hours all over the U.P. He will tell you what you need to bring and help you fill out the paperwork.
Going through this process, and the red tape it takes for anything to get done with the VA, I am sorry to say that I am ashamed of how our veterans are being treated in this country. They should be top on our government’s list of priorities. Not put on the back burner waiting to be taken care of or die before they can get in the system. Thank you to all the veterans out there for your service and commitment to our country. Hopefully, someday, you will get the courtesy you deserve.
Debbie St. Pierre