Congressman Michael Cloud visited Rockport Warriors United on Linden Street Wednesday, July 31 to present the Navy Good Conduct Medal to Navy veteran George Hemond of Corpus Christi. Hemond, who served in the Vietnam War, contacted Cloud’s office to request assistance with communication to the Navy on his behalf as he sought the Good Conduct Medal, which he never received many years ago.
Cloud said the medal was long overdue.
“It is an honor for my office (to have been able to help Hemond) receive this medal,” said Cloud.
Navy Capt. Scott Starkey pinned the medal on Hemond. He said a former boss of his told him to personally pin a medal on the recipient, and not just give it to him or her.
“He told me, ‘It took a long time to earn this, take the time to pin it on,’” said Starkey.
After the medal presentation, Cloud provided a brief overview about his efforts to help veterans.
“I’m here to help make sure you get the resources you need,” said Cloud to the crowd of veterans, local residents, and representatives from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) – Texas Valley Coastal Bend Health Care System.
“Our nation owes our veterans a tremendous debt, and I believe we must keep our promises to those who have worn the uniform and bear the scars from defending this nation we love so dearly,” he said.
The focus of the discussion by VA representatives was the recently approved VA Mission Act, which will provide greater access to healthcare by giving service members more health care options and expanding the number who qualify for private care through the VA.
The VA’s Hugo Martinez said the Act gives veterans the opportunity to seek care outside the VA system, if they can’t secure an appointment within a minimal timeframe. It also gives veterans the right to seek care outside the VA system if they live more than a prescribed number of miles from a VA hospital, etc.
Martinez noted the vast number of veterans continue to chose the VA, which has undergone big improvements in recent years.
He encouraged veterans to call the Call Center (1-855-864-0516) and it will direct one where to go for care.
During a question and answer period, veterans made suggestions about how to provide better medical care, as well as mental health care to individuals suffering from post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), addictions, etc.
One veteran asked, “How can illegal aliens get health care and benefits before we, who have served this country honorably for many years?”
to help veterans
In addition to the VA Mission Act, that Cloud voted to fund, the congressman:
• Introduced H.R. 3530, the Improving Confidence in Veteran’s Care Act
• Cosponsored and voted for H.R. 299, the Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act
• Cosponsored H.R. 95, the Homeless Veteran Families Act
• Cosponsored H.R. 628, the WINGMAN Act
• Cosponsored H.R. 553, the Military Surviving Spouses Equity Act
George Hemond retired from FM Global after a successful 33-year career with it and several companies of the predecessor group (FM System).
His broad background includes experience as a project engineer, resident engineering representative, property loss adjuster, regional claims manager (New England & Canada), and more recently as staff liaison to FM Global’s Western and International Divisions.
He is a Navy veteran of the Vietnam War, and remains active in veteran and community service organizations. He is a Life Member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars and Vietnam Veterans Association.
Hemond and his wife relocated to Corpus Christi in 2018 to be closer to family. Their daughter is a Navy veteran, and one of their grandsons currently serves in the U.S. Air Force.