Page 2 of 2 Previous
“At first, I wasn’t interested,” he said. “And now, I feel as if I’ve been compensated enough. There’s really no need.”
Kriesel tries to remind veterans he’s seen that “the services are paid for by the government and that they’ve earned them. They’ve put their lives on the line.”
Kriesel himself lost his legs and suffered other injuries from a roadside bomb in Iraq.
While Minnesota does not keep statewide statistics on visits to county veterans services centers, some are apparently busier than others. The Morrison County office, which is 7 miles from Camp Ripley, is extremely busy, with 11 percent of its clientele coming from other counties.
Still, Paul Froncak, the center’s director, says: “I’ve been doing this for 28 years and the problem doesn’t change. How do you get a four-year Marine veteran into this office? How do you let him know the office exists?
“I call these veterans young immortals. You have to get them and maybe talk about a knee, but you have to gain their trust to talk about PTSD issues. And getting them into these offices hasn’t been easy.”
Paul Levy • 612-673-4419