It has come to my attention that some people in our county wish, or at least have suggested, that our county move our local Veteran’s Affairs’ (VA) office into the Bladen County Courthouse.
Larry Hammonds, Director of Bladen County Veteran Affairs, was asked about the proposed move and stated that he “would be very apprehensive about moving the office because of the stress it may cause my veterans.”
I would like to agree with Larry, but I believe that he made an understatement. I think this is one of the most foolish things that I have ever heard. If anyone has ever had to try to find a parking space close to our courthouse during a weekday, they know that they may have to drive around the courthouse several times hoping for someone to leave, or they can park down by the Farmer’s Market and walk that long walk and cross over Hwy. 701 to get to the courthouse. Even if someone is lucky enough to park at the Courthouse, they may still have to walk almost a city block to get the entrance that they need to go through to get inside the building.
Our veterans are very important people; they are why we all have the freedoms that we enjoy today. They have more than paid their dues. Some of them have seen things that we could only have nightmares about. None of them get anywhere near what we as a country owe them, because we could never do enough to repay them for their service. And now, someone, or somebodies, want to cause them an additional hardship to overcome, to cause them to have to walk long distances to get the services that they deserve.
I can only hope that our county commissioners, who I believe will have the final word on this subject, leave them at the place that they are now, the place that they come to for help, the place that they can drive right up to and park almost at the door.
To the Bladen County Commissioners, remember one thing, if it wasn’t for the service of our veterans, we may not even have county commissioners.
— Rufus Duckworth