Early Saturday afternoon, veterans and family members gathered at the Veteranâ€™s Memorial in front of the Clark Hotel Museum for a “meet and greetâ€ with U.S. Rep. Pete Gallego, who represents the 23rd congressional district. He had just arrived in time for the scheduled town hall style meeting with local veterans.
Mr. Gallego spoke in favor of and voted for the final version of the Veteransâ€™ Access to Care through Choice, Accountability, and Transparency Act that would very likely affect the veterans of Van Horn.
According to the congressman, the bill was negotiated between the House and Senate and was approved in the House with a huge bipartisan margin of 420 to 5. One important outcome of this new law directly affects our local veterans, who may now be able to obtain VA paid health care through Van Hornâ€™s local health facilities.
After announcing the welcomed actions of congress, Mr. Gallego opened the discussion to questions from the mostly senior gathering of veterans. The theme of comments made, seemed to ring true to the same premise. The care provided by the doctors and nurses of the VA system could be rated as excellent. The problems and complaints are primarily related to the administrative process in order to be seen by a health care professional. Several veterans shared their frustrations with the system while others nodded in agreement to the matter.
“Veterans are a priority for me,â€ said Mr. Gallegos. “Our country is built on the service of those who protect our nation. Our parents, brothers and sisters, or sons and daughters in uniform donâ€™t serve for the recognition. They serve out of a sense of duty â€“ a real and tangible dedication â€“ to this country. Some make the ultimate sacrifice. For this reason, we must honor our veterans with actions not just words.â€