By Associated Press - Thursday, April 16, 2015

NEW YORK (AP) - Several veterans groups have spoken out in criticism of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s handling of veteran affairs.

Many of the veterans who gathered Thursday complained that de Blasio, who took office in January 2014, had yet to meet personally with any veterans’ organizations.

Others were upset that the mayor recently replaced some existing members of the Veterans Advisory Board and added new ones who, according to some group leaders, are not active in the community.

And some complained that the mayor’s Office of Veterans Affairs only has six staffers and a small budget.

The mayor’s office has defended de Blasio’s commitment to veterans.

His spokesman also noted that the mayor’s father was a World War II veteran.

City officials estimate they are 200,000 veterans in the city.

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