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Veterans react to President Trump's speech in KC

Posted at 7:07 PM, Jul 24, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-24 23:22:49-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — President Donald Trump's speech in Kansas City on Tuesday brought praise from many veterans who spoke to 41 Action News following the event.

The president spoke in front of around 4,000 people during a speech inside Municipal Auditorium at the 119th VFW National Convention.

President Trump touted his administration's plans to improve the VA health system and invest in military equipment.

"We have secured $700 billion for defense this year and $716 billion next year approved," he told the crowd. "My administration is committed to ensuring that our warfighters have the tools, the resources, the firepower that they need to defeat our enemies with overwhelming force."

The president also told veterans of his promise to offer same-day emergency mental health care to them.

"We are greatly expanding telehealth and walk-in clinics so our veterans can get anywhere at any time," he explained. "They can get what they need and they don't have to necessarily drive long distances and wait."

Shortly after the president's speech, veterans who spoke to 41 Action News said they approved of President Trump's message.

"I thought it was a great speech. It especially impressed me with the things he’s doing with the Veterans Administration," said veteran Franklin Hubbard. "I think all veterans that have served honorably should be covered for all of their medical and not have to pay anything for the rest of their life."

One veteran who served in the Korean War was glad to hear President Trump discuss investments in military equipment.

"We wanted to hear how he’s going to upgrade the military. He's going to bring the business back," the veteran said. "He offers a lot. If he can do half of what he said he would do I’m satisfied."

Veteran Walter Watts traveled from Alaska for the convention in Kansas City this week.

He told 41 Action News he mainly liked what he heard in the president's speech but wished President Trump had addressed unemployment with veterans.

"If he can work on getting that number down, it would be greatly appreciated," Watts said. "He seemed like he was very honest and very sincere about his thoughts."

Moving forward, the veterans who spoke to 41 Action News said the visit from President Trump left them feeling optimistic.

"With the things he talked about as far as wanting to do in the near future, hopefully, he can come through with those," Watts said. "We’ll see."