Veterans call out state leaders about their living conditions

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Updated: 8/09/2012 6:36 pm

LITTLE ROCK, AR -- Vets say they've had enough. They're tired of living in in third-world conditions -- in the country they fought for.

The Arkansas Veterans Home is where about 40 of them live -- where decades-old pipes flood the building, and maintenance crews have to strain the grease from pipes to prevent clogging.

"It's shameful that we won't take care of a generation who laid everything on the line for this country, this state, and are by nature, quiet," Mike Hampton, a member of the Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association, said.

Hampton helped to coordinate the rally, asking state leaders why they ignored maintenance issues.  Now they're so bad, the building has to close.

Residents understand the conditions, but they don't want to leave.

"I was around the people I wanted to be around. I was around veterans, those who spoke my language. I was happy with that," said James Sanders, a resident.

So now, the vets have a choice of a facility in Fayetteville, an assisted-living center or the home of a relative.

"Now is not really time to point the finger. It's time to right the wrong and to get these veterans into facilities they deserve to be in and look to future and decide what's best for the veterans of Arkansas," Kendall Thornton said.

But veterans say it should not have gotten to this point.

"Our troops deserve a better place to fight their final battles," a veteran said, supported by a thunderous applause.

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