Congresswoman Kendra Horn Speaks With Okla. Veterans

Saturday, November 9th 2019, 8:01 pm
By: Storme Jones

After Oklahoma’s lone Democrat in Congress voted to approve impeachment procedures last week, Congresswoman Kendra Horn returned to hear from voters in Oklahoma’s fifth congressional district Saturday.

Despite the politically divided times, Horn’s audience of Oklahoma veterans never brought up efforts to remove the president. Instead, the nearly two-hour town hall was spent with veterans telling their stories of suffering, heroism and strength.

“Leading up to Veterans Day, we wanted to give some space for veterans to share their stories,” Horn said. “to create connection.”

Veterans signed up for 10 minutes slots to address fellow servicemen and women, as well as the congresswoman, and Oklahoma Veterans Administrator Kristopher Vlosich.

Three women, including Sierra Blair told the audience about experiencing an assault while serving the county.

Blair said days before beginning the job she had been trained for, she went out with friends to celebrate their new beginning.

“It was that night that I was assaulted,” Blair said. “I wanted to share my story with you to start a conversation to help that young airman, that my be in my situation.”

She said she was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder following her assault, however, she said, “if given the choice, I would choose to in list every single time.”

Jeff Halpin told the group he sees himself as a cockroach. “Cockroaches are survivors,” he said. “I say that because I’ve been through a lot. I am a Desert Storm veteran.”

Horn told the group she and Vlosich are working to improve the services provided at the OKC VA.

“It’s no secret that we’ve had some problems with the VA, with this facility and across the country, not meeting the needs, long lines, there were significant problems with the construction here,” the congresswoman said.

But she said she challenged the VA and it’s administrator to do better.

Vlosich told the group of veterans, the hospital is expanding women's care and will provide more than 40 additional mental health professionals.

Horn has three events Sunday, including a community conversation from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the Northwest Oklahoma City Library and another from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. at Sequoyah Middle School. She is also hosting a community coffee from 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. at Aspen Coffee at 180 W 15th Street in Edmond.