TAMPA (FOX 13) - One of the biggest themes of Donald Trump's presidential campaign was improving the lives of veterans and protecting them, mentally and physically. With his win, Bay area vets are hoping, as President, he'll be a man of his word.
Around American Legion Post 152 in Town and Country, Wednesday was a good day.
"My America pulled through. That's all I can tell you," said Vietnam veteran Lon Hathaway. "The fact that he got through this with all the stigma surrounding him, I'd almost have to call him a Superman."
Hathaway proudly wore a shirt showing Trump dressed as Superman. It was Trump's continued support of veterans that secured his vote.
At rallies in the last few months, Trump has said things like, "The VA is, really you could say is almost a corrupt enterprise. We are going to make it efficient and good."
Trump has also reminded people of their struggles saying, "Our vets, our most cherished people, thousands of people are dying waiting on line to see a doctor."
Donald Trump promises he will make sure veterans can seek treatment from private physicians instead of waiting on the VA. Even in the excitement of victory, early Wednesday morning, the President-elect didn't forget them.
"We will also finally take care of our great veterans who have been so loyal and I've gotten to know so many over this 18-month journey," Trump said. "The time I've spent with them during this campaign has been among my greatest honors. Our veterans are incredible people."
Those words resonated with these local men and women who've served our country.
"I really believe he is going to make a big difference," Vietnam veteran Carl Ledin said. "The biggest thing he could do to help the veterans is really look at the VA system and cut down all the paperwork that is involved."
"There's a lot of veterans who need serious help," said Vietnam veteran Jim Powers. "They need emotional help as well as physical help, and help them go through the system, make it a lot easier to get the benefits they are entitled to."
These local vets have cast votes in their fair share of elections. They've heard so many the promises.
This time, they're apprehensive but quite optimistic that Trump will keep his.
"Nobody can undo everything that has happened up to this point. It's unrealistic to expect this man is going to be able to run right in there and make everything right," Hathaway said.
"The man went out and met the people and the people put Donald Trump in office," Ledin said. "That made me feel good. The people finally had a voice. And, I don't think we've seen that in a long time."
On top of veterans' healthcare issues, Trump promised he will use his time in office to rebuild the military.