U.S. Rep. Scott Perry
U.S. Rep. Scott Perry (http://perry.house.gov)

Vietnam veteran Mike Depew voted for Rep. Scott Perry because he is a fellow vet.

But after Perry failed to get back to him on a couple of his concerns, the Conewago Township resident decided to attend Monday's town meeting in Springettsbury Township and meet the congressman in person.

About halfway through the event, which had been postponed because of a mid-February snowstorm, Depew stood up in the middle of more than 70 attendees and addressed Perry directly.

He wanted to know why, after trying to reach Perry three times since January, he hadn't gotten a response.

Perry said he was stumped himself, saying it's unacceptable for constituents to go unheard.

For the vets: Because of the government shutdown in October, the families of four young soldiers killed in Afghanistan were not given the money to pay for their funerals.

That hit home for Depew, whose son was killed in a helicopter crash in 1989 while serving in the Marine Corps. He wanted to know what Perry could have done to help the families.

"I hate seeing anybody else's parents not have the money to bury their kids," he said.

Perry said that, as a congressman, he is not empowered to handle executive affairs. He said he signed a letter to President Barack Obama, urging him to do his duty and take action — but that's all he could do.

Although the meeting did little to ameliorate his concerns, Depew said he still considers himself a Perry supporter.

"I think he's doing as well as he can, being a first-term congressman," he said.

A year of issues: Perry has been serving in Congress since January 2013. During the meeting, he explained what he said is the unsustainability of the nation's budget and detailed his goals of job creation before answering questions the audience wrote in beforehand.

From student loans to climate change to civil unrest in Ukraine, Perry answered dozens of questions, detailing his own stance on the issues.

In short, the Republican disagrees with the Affordable Care Act; supports building the Keystone XL pipeline; and believes the country's immigration policy is "woefully broken."

After attending the meeting, Carol Jordan of Springettsbury Township said the country is going downhill.

"As an American citizen, I feel entirely hopeless," she said.

But Perry seems informed, and his hands are tied on many issues by the Democrats in the Senate, Jordan said.

"I think he's doing a very good job," she said.

Daniel Kornbau of Windsor Township attended because he wanted to learn more about what's going on with the country and the government.

He said he was happy he came.

"I thought it was informative and helpful," Kornbau said.

— Reach Mollie Durkin at mdurkin@yorkdispatch.com.