Greenfield councilmember to host veterans coffee social Thursday

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Angela Untalon looking for input on veterans’ needs

GREENFIELD — Greenfield City Councilmember Angela Untalon will host a veterans coffee social Thursday at the Greenfield Community Center, 1351 Oak Ave.

The Sept. 26 social will be held from 6 to 8 p.m., and it is not just for veterans, but the community at large. Untalon will be on hand to receive input and answer questions.

Untalon said she is holding this event to honor veterans as well. She is not a military veteran, but her brother served in the U.S. Army, enlisting in 2004 and serving just shy of 10 years. He currently lives in Arizona.

Recognition for veterans should be more than just one day, she said.

“We as a community don’t recognize them as much as we should,” Untalon said. “Having a veteran brother myself, I wanted the veterans in our community to feel appreciated and remembered, not just remembered when they pass but when they’re alive.”

The social is the second such event organized by Untalon. The first was held earlier this year in the spring, she said. The turnout was bigger than she expected.

At the previous social, Untalon said many voiced concerns about medical issues, particularly how long it takes to see a doctor. There is also somewhat of an issue with access to medical facilities, she said, as the nearest veterans clinic is about an hour north in Marina.

Untalon said she would work on getting a mobile medical clinic to Greenfield, which she said would help those who are not able to make the trip north.

“Me as a city leader needs to be their voice to start those conversations,” Untalon said. “I think that’s something we need to be their voice for.”

Untalon said she recognizes that many of the issues veterans face are bigger than the city. In 2016, there were about 20 million military veterans in the United States, according to the Pew Research Center, representing about 7 percent of the total population of the country, and at least 9 percent of veterans are women.

Untalon was elected city councilmember in 2018 and was sworn in Dec. 11.

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