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Health care for veterans will take center stage at town hall meeting in Bryan on Saturday

Published: Jul. 29, 2021 at 3:45 PM CDT
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BRYAN, Texas (KBTX) - Veterans from Brazos, Burleson, Milam, and Roberson counties have an opportunity to voice their concerns to Congressman Pete Sessions (R-District 17) at the veteran’s town hall.

The Brazos Valley is home to an estimated 35,000 veterans. Veterans like Al Diaz and Darrel Ray with the Brazos Valley Marine Corps League Detachment 1391 say healthcare is a major challenge and urge all veterans to come out and participate in the town hall.

“Pete Sessions [is] coming in, and he’s going to be trying to help us work through the issues with the VA. It’s going to be a question and answer session, pretty much, and we’re inviting all vets from the seven-county area to attend. If they have any concerns or questions, they can address them at the time,” said Diaz.

Veterans say while small VA clinics like the one in College Station can address some concerns, more help is needed.

“The biggest thing is to have doctors that will listen to you and have the facilities to do the job that they need to do,” said Ray. “They don’t have to build a hospital, but just get some facilities here that they can do the job, like hearing and eyes.”

Veterans say they have to travel to larger cities like Temple, Houston, or Austin to get the care they need.

“It’s a lot of things they can’t do here, and that’s the problem,” said Ray. “I drive 50 almost 60 miles to go to the Temple hospital because at least I know I can get taken care of the right way.”

“This is only a clinic here in College Station, but the main stuff for everything, ears, eyes, everything else has to be in Temple. Either that or you can go to Houston, which is still an inconvenience for a lot of our older vets,” said Diaz. “If we had a facility, a hospital here, we wouldn’t have to travel so far, and that’s pretty much what we’re hoping we can accomplish.”

Diaz and Ray say now is not the time to keep your opinions to yourself. They say show up Saturday and send a message to Washington that something needs to be done.

“I hear a lot of people complaining about the VA, and they won’t go. If they don’t come down here and back us up, there’s no sense in complaining,” said Ray. “They need to come down and voice their opinion, let everybody know what’s going on and why it’s going on, and maybe we’ll get some better healthcare.”

“If they have any concerns, they can bring it up because if they keep it to themselves, the issue will not be resolved, no one will know about it,” said Diaz. “But as long as it’s addressed and it’s out, the Veterans Administration, the congressmen, whoever, they’re aware of what’s going on, and they can address the issue.”

The town hall will be held Saturday at 10 a.m. at the American Legion Post 159 located at 101 E. Waco Street in Bryan.

VA Town Hall
VA Town Hall(KBTX)

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