MURRELS INLET, S.C. (WBTW) — Florida Governor and presidential hopeful Ron DeSantis hosted a Veterans for DeSantis town hall Friday at the VFW 10420 in Murrells Inlet.

The VFW might seem empty right now, but when doors opened at 10:45 Friday morning, hundreds of people lined up to hear Governor DeSantis speak. Some ticket holders were even turned away because there wasn’t enough room inside.

During the townhall, DeSantis spoke about many current issues ranging from the Israel-Hamas conflict, education, the border crisis, crime rates, and much more.

But since his release of Veterans for DeSantis Coalition on Thursday in Anderson, he spoke a lot about the current issues the United States military and Veterans face.

DeSantis said he plans to boost U.S. military enlistment and retention rates and make it easier for Veterans to access their benefits privately instead of through government agencies.

“We are going to make veterans issues a top shelf priority in my administration,” DeSantis said. “I think the veterans have been ignored for a long time, I think they have been mistreated by many agencies and we need to stop that. We need to get the veterans linked with all the help that’s out there, the bureaucracy is not going to be able to solve these problems, we’ve got organizations, businesses, you name it that want to help.”

Governor DeSantis said he was inspired to serve in the military by the attacks on 9/11 and is the only Veteran on either side of the aisle in the 2024 presidential race.

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Savannah Denton joined News 13 in July 2023 as a reporter and producer. Savannah is from Atlanta, Georgia, and is a graduate of the University of Alabama. Follow Savannah on X, formerly Twitter, and read more of her work here