Security was stepped up for an event in Geneseo at which the congressman attended.
GENESEO — With additional security in place after a shooting attack injured the House Republican whip and others in Washington, D.C., last Wednesday, Congressman Chris Collins, R-Clarence, attended an event where he said veterans need more help.
Collins, who represents a portion of Ontario County, on Saturday attended a one-stop shopping event for veterans to make it easier for them to get information and not have to travel far for services. Collins hosted the event at the National Warplane Museum, with help from Livingston County Veterans Services.
"The VA needs a shake-up," said Collins. "I think they're in the process of getting the shake-up. The bureaucracy became too overwhelming. We want the service to the soldiers."
Collins said the bureaucracy has made it difficult for veterans to get medical help in a timely fashion, often forcing them to wait for service. That's why a bill passed by Congress would allow veterans to seek treatment elsewhere if it takes more than 30 days to get an appointment.
The event on Saturday brought together a number of agencies and organizations so that veterans had the opportunity and time to learn more about the programs they're eligible for and to ask questions about services.
Many people don't know there are several different state, federal and local benefits, said Jason Skinner of Livingston County Veterans Services.
“A lot of them are federal benefits, so they would have to go to Buffalo,” Skinner said. “So it was nice to be able to come here. These are benefits that have been earned, and if people don't sign up, they're not going to get the benefits."
About 100 people turned out for the event, which had more Livingston County sheriff's deputies in attendance than usual.
Collins earlier in the week said he was going to start carrying a gun in public after gunman James Hodgkinson opened fire on GOP lawmakers as they practiced for a charity baseball game. Collins said he has a permit.