Guest Opinion: VSO out of line
I write this in response to those who have taken second hand information and are using it to defend their buddy, the Crow Wing County veterans service officer. It's a dirty shame that these veterans will turn on another veteran in need, just to k...
I write this in response to those who have taken second hand information and are using it to defend their buddy, the Crow Wing County veterans service officer. It's a dirty shame that these veterans will turn on another veteran in need, just to keep their friend's head above water.
I attended the meeting where the Crow Wing County Board and staff heard reports from VSO Nelson's superiors. These reports were accurate as Mr. Nelson admitted to them. In fact, this was a closed hearing in which Mr. Nelson asked to have it opened to the public. Where were these vets during this meeting. No where to be found. Now, like puppets on a string, they are defending him based on second hand information. While these staff members gave their reports based on Mr. Nelsons job performance, none of them said a word about his treatment of veterans. They were not qualified.
I am a Disabled American Veteran and I, along with other veterans, were at the meeting to testify against Mr. Nelsons treatment of veterans. Like the veteran near Bay Lake who needed transportation to Brainerd for dialysis treatment and Nelson denied it. Then the veteran who filed a claim for compensation with Nelson and he sat on it for approximately four years until the veteran brought it up to the county board. It only took five days to file after that. I am that veteran.
Then the two issues during last summers political campaign season where Mr. Nelson used his position and county office to promote partisan political candidates. This is against a federal law and Nelson should have been dismissed at that time, no questions asked. That law is The Hatch Act (Google it).
Then there was Nelsons conduct as he was representing Crow Wing County at a Camp Ripley meeting. He was taken aside and reprimanded by an officer attending the same meeting. Nelson claims he should not be under the human services department as It disgraces veterans. Over 50 percent of the VSOs in various counties throughout Minnesota are under this same staffing procedure.
Mr. Nelson is not only a person who cannot lead an office but also cannot serve the veterans properly. This is the second time in the past year he has called on his friends to organize and defend him. He threw a temper tantrum in front of the Minnesota Commissioner of Veterans Affairs and his deputy last summer and called on many of these same friends to defend him then. He is to be respected as a veteran but being a veteran does not automatically make you a VSO.
Kudos to the Crow Wing County Board and staff for looking into this disservice and taking appropriate action.
As for those defending Nelson, I ask you this, remember basic training, never abandon a fallen veteran or leave him in the field. That means all veterans, not just your friends. Raise your heads high and help your fellow comrades in need. Don't abandon them for your buddy. Rather than spend $1,000 on newspaper ads and phone calls demonizing our county commissioners, perhaps you should spend your extra money on something supporting veterans, like the Wreaths For The Fallen Program.
I respect our county commissioners for their impartial and unbiased vote. It's time for a new Crow Wing County VSO. As a Disabled American Veteran, I ask the citizens of Crow Wing County to rise up and support your county officials. For an accurate account of the Feb. 10 CWC meeting, log into the Crow Wing County website and watch it in person, live and unaltered. Thank You. Charlie Makidon
Charlie Makidon is a Disabled American Veteran from the Pine River/Backus area and has been a Veterans advocate for over 43 years and former talk radio show host for Veterans in the area.