Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

May 27, 2013

Continue the fight for Mercer veterans


Bluefield Daily Telegraph

— — I read recently in the State Journal where the VA opened a new women’s health clinic in Huntington. Don’t get me wrong, I am glad the VA recognizes our women veterans and their health care needs, but what about our veterans in Mercer County? The clinic that opened in Huntington is pretty much the same scenario as Mercer County. The Huntington clinic is located in a building that previously housed the Medical Center’s quartermaster operation. The outpatient clinic we are seeking for Mercer County would be housed in a local hospital, with the promise of additional equipment; a win-win situation for our veterans and Mercer County. 

The VA is talking telehealth center. Mercer County needs an outpatient clinic where our veterans can go for non-emergency procedures, not a means of communicating through a TV monitor with a physician. The VA wants to increase telehealth service from 460,000 last year to 825,000 by the end of this year. It’s a shame when the money is out there; we have a facility, and the promise of equipment, that the VA continues to turn their head. 

The Washington Post recently stated in an article that it is time to shake up the dysfunctional VA.  I totally agree. The red tape our veterans have to endure to receive benefits, health care and the like, should never be. We have our freedom because of what they have done for us; some making the ultimate sacrifice. We must continue this fight for the veterans of Mercer County and surrounding areas.

As for me and my family we will continue communicating with our local and state representatives; we will continue this fight. Don’t forget to thank a veteran.

Marie Blackwell

Bluefield