Gottheimer Highlights Cutting Through the Red Tape for New Jersey Veterans in Fair Lawn

Feb 25, 2018

Today, Congressman Josh Gottheimer (NJ-5) highlighted how his office can help cut through the red tape for New Jersey veterans. Rep. Gottheimer joined a roundtable discussion with former Marine Corps Corporal Lance Pilant, Fair Lawn Director of Veterans Affairs Nick Magarelli, Fair Lawn Deputy Mayor Kurt Peluso, Fair Lawn Council Member Josh Reinitz, and Gottheimer’s Director of Veterans Affairs Mike Devilliers.

At the Fair Lawn Borough Hall, the group discussed how Gottheimer helped Pilant secure a home loan through the VA Home Loan Guarantee Program. Corporal Pilant had been trying to purchase a home in Fair Lawn when Pilant was denied a certificate of eligibility by the VA, preventing him from closing on the purchase, despite his time spent on active duty during Desert Storm. Pilant contacted Congressman Gottheimer, whose office quickly cut through the bureaucracy to get to a resolution with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and secure Pilant’s home loan guarantee.

Video can be found HERE.

Gottheimer has championed North Jersey veterans in Congress, consistently voting to increase funding for veterans programs. In August, the President signed into law Gottheimer’s amendment to boost hiring of young veterans and improve care at the VA. Gottheimer also passed an amendment to extend the authorization for the Suicide Prevention and Resilience Program for National Guard members, their families, and veterans for 2018.

Corporal Pilant’s case illustrates just one way Rep. Gottheimer’s office can help local veterans. North Jersey veterans deserve the best healthcare and any assistance they need after valiantly servicing their country. The last thing these veterans should have to face is bureaucratic roadblocks. Any veteran in need of help is encouraged to contact Gottheimer’s office at 201-389-1100 or by visiting Gottheimer.House.Gov/Contact. Gottheimer’s office is eager to help veterans in the Fifth District however possible with claims, backpay, medals, VA benefits, or any other matter.

Below from left to right: Former Marine Corps Corporal Lance Pilant, Congressman Gottheimer, and Fair Lawn Director of Veterans Affairs Nick Magarelli

“These things–helping a veteran, a cop, a firefighter–are not partisan issues. These are American issues. These are Jersey issues,” said Congressman Josh Gottheimer (NJ-5). “I am proud of the work my office has done to cut through red tape and get North Jersey veterans the benefits they deserve. Our veterans deserve nothing but the best after risking their lives to defend our freedoms. I want anyone in the Fifth District facing problems with a federal agency to contact my office.”

“As a veteran who served quite a long time ago, back in the ‘90s, I really wasn’t aware of what resources were available, until I got in touch with Congressman Gottheimer’s office,” said former Marine Corps Corporal Lance Pilant. “I didn’t know where to turn. And I want other veterans to understand that you can turn to your Congressman. The Congressman’s office took full ownership of the process, from start to finish, and I really appreciate that.”

“We have 1300 veterans in town. We’re the third-highest in Bergen County,” said Fair Lawn Director of Veterans Affairs Nick Magarelli. “You all sacrificed for our country, and we should give that extra little attention. I just met Lance today and right off the bat we’re already brothers. There isn’t anything I wouldn’t do to help Lance or any other veteran in town with any need that they have.”

“We’re very grateful for what Congressman Gottheimer did at the federal level for one of our residents Lance,” said Fair Lawn Deputy Mayor Kurt Peluso. “What a crime it would have been if we had lost Lance here in Fair Lawn, if the Congressman didn’t step in and help us fulfill the need to help him get his house and stay here. To uproot a family, especially with young kids, is really troubling. So we’re very grateful for the work that’s getting done.”

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