By Thomas Lott
he Democratic challenger to 8th District Congressman Richard Hudson joined a former presidential candidate in discussing Joe Biden’s plan to support the military.
Patricia Timmons-Goodson joined a roundtable discussion with former Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg on Thursday to discuss presidential candidate Joe Biden’s plan to support United States service members, veterans and their families.
Timmons-Goodson is the daughter of a Vietnam war veteran who was an Army 82nd Airborne Ranger formerly stationed in Fort Bragg. She said she greatly cares about what this country is doing for both active and retired military members.
“I’m indebted to the military,” Timmons-Goodson said in an interview after the roundtable discussion. “It provided a way of life, professionally, for my father that allowed him to support his family. And the values that the military stands for, he obviously accepted them, and he taught and passed those on to us.
“I think that the Timmons family is indebted to the military, and we’ve tried to give back.”
Timmons-Goodson was one of six siblings. One brother joined the military and, of his four sons, three of them also served.
Her father died at the age of 43 due to service-connected injuries after 18 years of service. The country took care of her family in its loss as Timmons-Goodson and all her siblings earned college degrees on educational stipends after her father’s death.
“We love this country. I love this country; I love the military; and I just think we owe them so much,” she said. “And not just my dad, but I have lived and also seen the sacrifices that military families make with their deployed service member, and how they carry on.
“I watched my mother serve as mother and father during two Vietnam deployments. They say that when 911 is dialed by the United States, or even the world, that the 82nd Airborne Division honors that call, and it’s true. So my dad was gone a whole, whole lot. Whether you’re talking about Panama or hot spots in this country, so I’ve seen and lived the sacrifices of service members’ families, so I’m not even able to convey fully just what the military means to me.”
Supporting military members and their families has become a priority for Timmons-Goodson, and has been one since she was younger.
She was able to go to college and eventually served on the North Carolina Supreme Court. Many of her chances came because she was taken care of because of her father’s service. She wants to make sure all military veterans and their families are cared for in the same way.
The panel of people who spoke Thursday feel the same. Mayor Pete Buttigieg joined the Navy Reserve and eventually served a seven-month deployment in Afghanistan.
Making sure veterans and their families are provided for is important to him, and he believes the United States could do more.
“What we know is that there is just a baseline level of expectation of support,” he said during the roundtable discussion. “Whether we’re talking about veterans’ health care, whether we’re talking about childcare opportunities or talking about housing — there are a lot of serious issues with military housing right now, and a lot of that comes back to accountability, when the private sector is involved, and making sure that we have the right standards and adequate funding.”
Timmons-Goodson spoke about how good the housing was when she was growing up, but then how many houses on station today have mold issues or things of that nature that need to be addressed.
Part of “The Biden Plan to Fulfill Our Commitment to Military Families, Caregivers and Survivors” features housing prominently. It says:
“The Biden Administration will:
• Enforce a comprehensive and standardized tenant bill of rights for all military families, and as advocates have rightly demanded, ensure DoD senior leadership enforces compliance. We won’t be making more empty promises to military families. We will hold these landlords, and ourselves, accountable.
• Require regular, standardized, objective, and published reporting of military family satisfaction and concerns from all housing.
• Establish a public-facing document outlining expectations of quality and consequences for all housing providers and, when necessary, terminate long-term leases held by private companies.”
This is not an easy fix, Buttigieg acknowledged.
“Those kind of challenges have been with us for a long time, and they’ve grown worse under this president,” he said. “They’ll get better under President Biden because he gets it.
“I think, more than anything, it’s having somebody who understands not just the obligation that America has to its service members and families, but also the opportunity that they represent.”
After the discussion, Timmons-Goodson also spoke about the importance of providing health care for veterans and their families.
“Health care for our veterans is not what it could be,” she said. “There have been issues for some time, and I would be working to restore the kind of quality health care for our veterans.”
Timmons-Goodson is running for office against incumbent U.S. Rep. Richard Hudson, who is serving his fourth term in the House of Representatives.
Hudson also has been committed to supporting active duty military, veterans and their families.
According to Timmons-Goodson, “I will fight every single day. I will be present for the votes; I will advocate for the military because we owe them so, so much; and I understand the sacrifices they’re making.”