Vet meets with congressman on 4th of July

By Patric Hedlund

David Hicks of Frazier Park was a one-man 4th of July parade last week. An American flag flies from his bright red Tundra pickup; his license plates say 66VNVT; his cell phone ringtone trumpets the Marines’ Hymn; and last Friday, Hicks was on a mission. He deployed at 6:45 a.m. on a trip to Bakersfield to meet with U.S. Congressman Kevin McCarthy. Hick’s objective: to open a dialogue about opportunities for Mountain Community veterans.

Back in Washington, D.C., everyone from the President of the United States to D.C. security guards to coffee house baristas to passengers on commuter flights and both houses of Congress were all talking about reforms needed in the V.A. hospital system when this reporter was in Washington last month.

The continuing troubles at the Veterans Administration was the lead story in national news, along with the surprising loss by Virginia Representative Eric Cantor in his June primary election. That became local news in Kern County, because Cantor’s nosedive on his home turf led to his resignation as House majority leader, followed by election of House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy to be the new House majority leader.

“My boy Kevin,” is the way many residents of Kern County—including local veterans—refer to their congressman, no matter what their political affiliation may be. Even with his laser focus on ascending the national political ladder, McCarthy has been careful to nurture his local roots.

He is a Bakersfield homeboy who introduced his charming wife to us on July 4 as being from the Mountain Communities. He married Judy Wages of Lebec in…

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This is part of the July 11, 2014 online edition of The Mountain Enterprise.

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