With a long history of making veterans care his priority, local vets told KTSM they’re ready to see Beto O’Rourke run for president in 2020.
“Beto, he’s helped me. I’m very grateful for what he did. Without his help, I don’t know where I’d be right now. I could be under a bridge with a cardboard sign,” David Nevarez, a local veteran, shared.
After meeting at what he calls the right time in 2012, Nevarez is one of many veterans in El Paso with a history with Democratic Presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke. Nevarez was recovering from a knee surgery at the time and said O’Rourke helped him with his VA claim.
While getting to know each other, Nevarez said the former El Paso Congressman dug deep to learn about issues affecting veterans nationwide.
This includes medical, mental health services, and wait times for VA disability claims. “He’s heard various vets’ ideas. There needs to be definitely improvement with the VA structure itself,” he said.
The 82nd Airborne Division Association chapter in El Paso told KTSM that lots of veterans are looking forward to his presidential run.
“He’s been a proud supporter of veterans. We’ve appreciated everything that he’s done for veterans. He’s done an awful lot to help the local VA facility,” 1st Vice-Chairman John Ceballos shared. “He’s helped bring about some changes which has been beneficial to veterans and we’re really happy about it.”
As for Nevarez, he considers O’Rourke not just a politician, but also a friend.
“There’s more to Beto than what you see on social media. There’s a person. A family man. A dad, husband, son, brother. That’s what I hope gets seen to the rest of the country,” he said.
Many local vets also said some of the ways to improve the current VA structure can be initating more programs that aim to help veterans transition from military life to civilian life.