Monday, January 26, 2009

Rally for the veterans

Grab your markers and cardboard — our Congressman wants you to protest.

Specifically, Rep. Jerry McNerney wants you and everyone you can gather to show up at 10:30 a.m. Jan. 30 at San Joaquin General Hospital. The goal: improve medical care for military veterans by convincing the Department of Veterans Affairs to locate its newest facility in French Camp.

McNerney wrote in an open letter to his constituents:

In just a couple of weeks, the Department of Veterans Affairs will make an announcement about where they will build a new veterans’ nursing home and expanded medical facility in the Central Valley.

These new veterans’ facilities are sorely needed and they should be built at French Camp, adjacent to San Joaquin General Hospital.

French Camp is already home to a heavily-used VA outpatient clinic and it’s an ideal site for an expanded treatment center and nursing home. The site clearly meets or exceeds the selection criteria established by the VA, which include local veteran demographics, site accessibility, and proximity to a hospital. Additionally, the French Camp site has support not only from elected officials and veterans in San Joaquin County, but in Amador and Calaveras Counties, as well.

Stanislaus County is putting up stiff competition to bring the facility there. But, for the reasons McNerney highlighted, it makes eminently more sense to place the clinic in French Camp.

So get those signs ready. Our veterans need the help.

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