HENLAWSON – U.S. Representative Evan Jenkins (R-W.Va.) held a veterans town hall at the Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 308 hall in Henlawson, which is located in Logan County.
He was joined by Brian Nimmo, director of the Huntington VA Medical Center, and Dr. Jeffery Breaux, the medical center’s chief of staff. Rep. Jenkins and Director Nimmo both made remarks and then took questions from veterans.
There was a packed room for Jenkins at the veteran’s event.
“One of the most important parts of the job is making sure our veterans are taken care of,” Jenkins said. “Sitting on the Appropriations Committee, we have an opportunity to make a direct impact on the healthcare benefits and veterans benefits for our heroes.”
“They put their lives on the line for use,” Jenkins added.
“We have two veterans’ hospitals in the Third Congressional District, a veterans’ home in Barboursville and community outpatient clinics in some of our counties,” the congressman said.
“We have an estimated 118,000 veterans in West Virginia,” he stressed. “They need to be taken care of. Today was an opportunity to listen and to hear first-hand of any frustrations or problems they have or are experiencing.”
That is the reason Jenkins brought the VA representatives with him to Logan so they could hear from the veterans.
“While there were certainly some compliments shared, there were also people speaking up where they have had problems. I’m in the problem solving business,” Jenkins added. “I am trying to connect our veterans with the healthcare they deserve. It’s critically important.”
Jenkins said the session talked about the late times at some of the facilities and difficulty of scheduling appointments. Nationwide the VA facilities have been under fire about many problems that have surfaced.
One veteran shared a story with Jenkins about when he had an operation, but his wife had been in the waiting room expecting word on how the procedure had went. “She waited long after the surgery was over to get word on how it had went,” Jenkins shared. “This is simply unacceptable.”
“These are teachable moments for all of us. We need to improve the system,” Jenkins stressed.
He said the VA hospital in Huntington had gotten high marks and he was happy to learn about that.
He said he had talked to VA representatives about certain situations.
“I’m always there pushing and doing a little fist-pounding to make them do the very best job they can at all of our VA facilities,” Jenkins concluded.
(Kyle Lovern is the Managing Editor for the Civitas Media Mountain District including the Williamson Daily News and Logan Banner. He can be contacted at [email protected] or at 304-235-4242, ext. 2277 or on Twitter @KyleLovern.)