Collin Peterson is a veteran, and so he understands the realities and frustrations of “hurry up and wait.”

While those who served this country have experienced that notion as they answered the call, the challenge of “hurry up and wait” for them did not end when their stint came to an end.

Now they are just experiencing it in another venue that has many of them even more frustrated than they were in the service. As these veterans look for assistance from the country they took an oath to protect, they often meet up with overwhelming levels of bureaucracy requiring them to wait for things they were promised, especially as it relates to medical care.

For them, that is not acceptable.

Peterson, who represents Minnesota’s Seventh Congressional District in Washington, D.C., is learning more about those frustrations as he listens to veterans in his latest role as a member of the U.S. House veterans committee.

He was in Redwood Falls Monday afternoon to hear the plight of local veterans to see how he can help. 

During the town hall conversation with veterans from the Redwood area, a number of topics were addressed from the issue of veteran suicide to the veterans’ cemetery project in Redwood County.

Peterson said mental health issues continue to carry a stigma, but he added a more concerted effort to address that issue has been made recently with the establishment of a sub-committee that will specifically look at veteran mental health and suicide.

As it relates to the veterans’ cemetery project, Peterson took time to get up to speed during the meeting and then committed to looking into what has been holding up the project.

During the town hall, Peterson also talked about the veterans’ home projects planned for Montevideo and Bemidji.

As a member of the veterans committee, a role he has held in earlier years as a member of Congress, Peterson said he will continue to keep the issues that are important for veterans in this area on the front burner.

Earlier in the day, Peterson also visited the Redwood Valley schools campus and the Estebo community development and training center, adding schools focusing on trades are “on the ball” as it relates to addressing workforce needs in Minnesota.