A veterans group is calling on fellow vets to come together and start supporting political candidates who support their causes, while accusing U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren of failing to do so.

“This is really for veterans to bond together and to realize together we have really a huge voting bloc,” said John MacDonald, a member of the Veterans Assisting Veterans board, at a rally in Lowell yesterday. “We have an opportunity to band together and take a look at, it doesn’t matter if it’s Republican, it doesn’t matter if it’s Democratic, but when it comes to our issues, we have a voice if we band together, and that’s what today is all about.”

Blasting an inept federal bureaucracy and elected officials who don’t stand up for veterans, MacDonald said veterans should become a political force across party lines, throwing their support behind politicians who support veterans.

“Help candidates that help veterans, that fight for veterans,” MacDonald said. “We just want our government to do what’s promised, take care of our brothers and sisters.”

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In April, the Herald reported one in six patients with traumatic brain injuries who came to a VA hospital in Boston was incorrectly processed.

Earlier this year, VAV published an open letter to Warren, asking why she was advocating for illegal immigrants and refugees, but not veterans. Warren wrote back to the group, but MacDonald said, “She didn’t address any of our concerns in the four-page letter, she’s expressed no interest, other than that letter, in reaching out.”

Warren’s office responded with a statement yesterday, touting her support of veterans’ ­issues.

“Senator Warren deeply appreciates the service of Massachusetts veterans and is focused on ensuring they get the support they deserve,” said Lacey Rose, a Warren spokeswoman. “It’s why she visited the Brockton VA on Thursday to meet directly with veterans and to call for improving veterans’ health care, and why she pushed for a bill to expand GI Bill benefits that was just signed into law.”

State Rep. Geoff Diehl (R-Whitman), one of a handful of Republicans hoping to unseat Warren next November, told the rally yesterday that Warren has failed to be an advocate for veterans and Massachusetts.

“To me, that’s the job of a United States senator. What can I do for you, what can I do for us and what can I do for Massachusetts. That should be job No. 1 one for your U.S. senator,” Diehl said. “Job No. 1 shouldn’t be writing two books on our dime while delivering nothing for Massachusetts.”

Diehl said Warren has contributed to dividing the country by questioning law enforcement and supporting illegal immigrants.

“You become responsible for a lot of these actions that are occurring and hurting our country,” Diehl said.

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(c)2017 the Boston Herald

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