Representatives Visit VA Hospital to Hear Concerns

by Anayeli Ruiz
NewsWest 9

Local vets had plenty of concerns about the VA service in the Basin. Things they said were specific to West Texas. NewsWest 9 found out why they're so worried about getting the care they need.

"I wanted to make sure he came to West Texas to see what rural struggles we have with health care delivery, thinking of the VA system in a rural setting," Mike Conaway, Representative for the 11th District, said.

Congressman Mike Conaway and Randy Neugebauer welcomed Representative Jeff Miller to West Texas. He is the Chairman of the House Committee of Veterans Affairs.  They wanted to make sure he knows the problems veterans face in West Texas.

"Delivering health care in rural areas is much different than doing it in urban areas. The distances when I started telling the chairman it's 300 miles to this facility and it's 300 miles to that facility. That sometimes puts a lot of pressure and strain," Randy Neugebauer, Representative for the 9th District, said.

The VA says many veterans cant always travel those distances as it can be too expensive. They have come up with some ways to help the veterans by taking the Tele-health out to rural communities but more is still needed.

"Particularly for our specialty care, we still have long drives. So we need to come up with the right formula where we don't always have to drive great distances to receive some of the specialty care," Neugebauer said.

Congressman Miller hopes that he can take their concerns and address them with the Department of Veterans Affairs.

"Coming to an area like this that is so rural in their service area, it's important to make sure that they have the necessary funds to serve the veterans that depend on them," Jeff Miller, Representative for the 1st District of Florida, said.

Veterans are glad that they were able to meet with Representatives to voice their opinions.

"I think it's good for any politician to go out in the community and visit with the people that he represents. Because they are the ones that put him in there and they are the ones that could vote him out," Big Spring Veteran, Paul Ables, said.

Representative Randy Neugebauer also visited the Lamun Lusk Sanchez State Veterans home. He was able to sit down and meet with veterans there. He also paid a visit to Howard College to meet with the students and see the challenges they are facing.