U.S. Representative Vance McAllister was a special guest speaker at Fort Hero Veterans Barracks Thursday.

Northeast Louisiana Veterans Association President Al Sanders and Project Manager and Northeast Louisiana Veterans Association President Assistant Roy Cook both spoke about the different people and organizations that have been helping them with this project.

Marcia Cook with the American Legion Auxiliary announced that for their recent Poppy Drive, which took place on the town square, they had raised $1,562 in three hours.

“[I'm] proud of small towns in Louisiana,” Northeast Louisiana Veterans Association Secretary Treasurer George V. Anzelmo said. “Small towns get more in three hours than cities like Monroe get in a year.”

McAllister spoke about the VA and addressed his concerns about some of the problems with the system that had been brought up to him by several veterans. A future stop on his tour will be the VA hospital in Alexandria. The congressman also spoke about veterans dealing with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

“I'm glad the congressman showed up and was glad to hear what he had to say about the VA and glad that he talked about PTSD,” Anzelmo said. “It's not something you ever get over, but you can be taught to maintain.”

Sanders asked the congressman about what he could do for them and what did he think about a veterans home.

McAllister expressed that he felt it was our job as Americans to see that all of our veterans are taken care of, and that he hated the idea of any American having to deal with homelessness.

“I hope this becomes a model for other places like Alexandria,” McAllister said.

McAllister mentioned that he would look into grant funding that might be available for the veterans home to help them get some basic things, such as air conditioning.

“It's changed a lot since I was here last,” Mayor Arthur Jones said. “This is my third time here. Each time it looks better.”

According to Cook, they are currently looking for electrical people and plumbers to help with the building. It still needs a lot of work before it is up and running.