As election approaches, David Jolly holds discussion on veterans’ issues

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Congressional candidate David Jolly joined U.S. Rep. Jeff Miller, chair of the House Veterans Affairs Committee to hold a discussion on issues affecting Florida veterans.

Among the topics at the Friday afternoon meeting in St. Petersburg College Health Education Center in Pinellas Park was the need to continue providing resources for the Bay Pines VA Medical Center — recently renamed to honor former U.S. Rep. C.W. Bill Young – as well as other regional facilities.

Speaking to the group of more than 30 veterans and Pinellas residents, Jolly also talked of addressing backlogs of VA cases and the need for increased efficiency in delivering veteran services.

Jolly, a former Young aide and lobbyist, is running as the Republican candidate for his boss’s old seat in Pinellas County 13th Congressional District.

“Our late Congressman Young’s legacy of constituent service and the ability to continue to care for Pinellas County seniors and veterans is, and has always been, a top priority for me,” Jolly said. “During my time working alongside Congressman Young, I worked to help advance military medicine priorities at Walter Reed Army Hospital and National Naval Medical Center Bethesda, as well as provide for infrastructure needs at Bay Pines and James Haley V.A. Hospitals and other veteran service programs.”

Miller talked of Young’s dedication to area veterans, and praised Jolly for his commitment to continue Young’s advocacy, an agreement which began “from the day he set out on the campaign trail.”

“Pinellas County veterans need and deserve a strong advocate for their needs, resources and services in Congress like David Jolly,” said Miller. “Today’s discussion with local veterans reminds us that although we have a support system in place to provide for veterans’ needs, our work is far from over.”

U.S. Rep. Gus Bilirakis, who joined Jolly at a private event earlier in the day, also complimented the candidate on his attention to veteran’s needs.

“I’m proud to support David in his campaign to continue Bill Young’s legacy on behalf of the people of Pinellas,” said Bilirakis. “Our neighboring districts have a very unique makeup and very specific needs that I am confident David will be able to work on behalf of and help us advance in Washington.”

Phil Ammann is a St. Petersburg-based journalist and blogger. With more than three decades of writing, editing and management experience, Phil produced material for both print and online, in addition to founding HRNewsDaily.com. His broad range includes covering news, local government and culture reviews for Patch.com, technical articles and profiles for BetterRVing Magazine and advice columns for a metaphysical website, among others. Phil has served as a contributor and production manager for SaintPetersBlog since 2013. He lives in St. Pete with his wife, visual artist Margaret Juul and can be reached at phil@floridapolitics.com and on Twitter @PhilAmmann.