By: Diane Benjamin
This is an update to yesterday’s story: https://blnnews.com/2018/07/11/not-the-right-fit-tari/
This morning I spoke to the Marine veteran who was the subject of the Facebook post by Danny Leifel. He wants to remain anonymous because of the large number of phone calls he received yesterday.
One phone call he never received was from Tari Renner. Before the Council meeting Monday, he spoke for a few minutes with Tari. Instead of staying for Public Comment, Tari took the card he filled out that included his phone number. Tari promised to call him Tuesday before noon. That call never happened.
The Marine contacted me last night by Messenger because he was outraged by a Facebook post from Jamie Mathy. I have a copy of Mathy’s entire post which I hear is now deleted, but this is the part that outraged the Marine:
If Mathy was told by someone the Marine has PTSD he was lied to. The Marine called him last night and asked him who told him that, Jamie couldn’t remember.
Here’s what you don’t know:
Last March a meeting was held at the VFW with the HEAD of Illiana Healthcare for the VA. At least 150 people attended including representatives from both Sen Tammy Duckworth’s and Sen Dick Durbin’s offices. Even though the Marine contacted the offices of Dan Brady, Bill Brady, Jason Barickman, and Bloomington City Hall – none of them sent representatives to this meeting. The meeting was a huge deal since the area head of VA healthcare has a large territory and is difficult to schedule meetings with. The purpose of the meeting was to guarantee local veterans that an out-patient facility was going to be established here. Funding is available. Locally there are 3000 veterans with a VA card which is more than enough to locate here. They won’t have to travel to Danville or Peoria once it is open.
The reason he attended the Council meeting Monday night is because he spoke to the receptionist at City Hall that morning. She suggested he attend one of Tari’s Open Houses or Council. His only purpose was to make the Council aware the VA was looking for 20,000 square feet and having difficulty finding it. He told me Steve Rasmussen has been aware of this for 3 months but never informed the Council or the Mayor. His information came from the VA in Danville.
His only reason for dogging this issue is, in his own words: “Marines take care of Marines”.
He did speak with Alderman Joni Painter yesterday. She has this same information. He was very complimentary of her. Good job Joni!
Since both cities pay the Economic Development Council and BN Advantage a lot of money, maybe they can assist in finding a location. Evidently the government paperwork is extensive, but he thinks the 10 year lease would become permanent since the government doesn’t want to build.
This needs to get done! This Marine is 100% disabled due to injuries he sustained in Afghanistan. He was in the Marine Corps from 1984-1993 and then returned after 9/11. He left in 2014. Since he grew up in Bloomington he came home. According to him he doesn’t recognize his hometown anymore.
He doesn’t want to be called a hero. I will anyway.