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Published November 12, 2011, 06:40 PM

Sen. Amy Klobuchar Meets With Area Vets

Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar made a stop in East Grand Forks Saturday as part of a tour of several northwestern Minnesota cities. She met with area veterans and city leaders to honor the nation's vets and discuss their challenges.

Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar made a stop in East Grand Forks Saturday as part of a tour of several northwestern Minnesota cities. She met with area veterans and city leaders to honor the nation's vets and discuss their challenges.

Just two days after the senate passed a jobs act to help veterans find work, Senator Amy Klobuchar wants area vets to know its importance to Minnesota.

"Twenty-four percent of our soldiers that have come home since 9/11 don't have jobs. That is way higher than the average unemployment for our state. Our state tends to do better than the rest of the country, just like North Dakota," Klobuchar said.

"The job market is bad right now and they really can't find jobs. And they're coming back with all of these ailments, disabilities," Polk County Veterans Service Officer Les Goodwin said.

Klobuchar believes more attention needs to be placed on the number of homeless veterans.

"Every night in Minnesota we have 700 homeless veterans," Klobuchar added.

Klobuchar is currently working on a bill that will help homeless veterans. She says this is a growing problem in our nation, and the bill has the support of numerous veterans organizations.

"The bill will hopefully get right to the floor. We've had no objection so far from any veterans group because we're not adding more money, we're just allowing certain rural veterans to access money that's already there," Klobuchar said.

Area veterans were able to express their concerns at today's meeting.

"Is there going to be an attack on veterans benefits," East Grand Forks City Council Member and World War II Veteran Henry Tweten asked.

"I think the last thing we should be doing is balancing the budget on the backs of veterans," Klobuchar responded

Klobuchar says those concerns are being heard.

"Instead of just words they always need action, and that's why we've worked so hard with the Legion, with the VFW to make sure that we are reaching out to our veterans, both young and old, in a way that is going to help them," Klobuchar said.

She also made stops in Thief River Falls and Red Lake Falls on Saturday.

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