By Miriam Raftery
February 7, 2015 (San Diego’s East County) – Back in September 2013, our article titled, “Why is County Veterans Services Department ignoring rural East County vets?” inspired Supervisor Dianne Jacob to get a measure passed that would bring veterans’ services to libraries in rural East County.
We wrote our story after a reader, Claudia Millerbragg, informed us that there were no county services for veterans in our County's rural, mountain or desert regions--areas that lack adequate transit services, making it difficult for disabled veterans to travel and receive the services that they need. By contrast, ECM's investigation found an abundance of services in coastal areas, despite the fact that residents in those areas could access transit services--and the fact that East County has more veterans than the coastal region.
Supervisor Jacob's measure passed in March 2014 and stated that veterans service would be introduced into the El Cajon, Ramona, Julian and Pine Valley libraries by year’s end, with other locations possibly to follow.
But when East County Magazine contacted the County Veterans Services Department in January of 2015, we learned that a year and a half after our initial report, only two libraries have received veterans’ services – El Cajon and Rancho San Diego, both in suburban areas close to La Mesa, which already had services. Despite the measure passed by Supervisors, no veterans services had yet been brought to rural areas.
So we made some inquiries - and got results. Those who served our nation will soon be able to access services they need in libraries across our regoin.