America is the land of the free because we are the home of the brave. When you stop to think about it, it’s amazing that men and women choose to serve in our armed services, knowing full well that their sacrifice could be tremendous – and even require their life. But still they volunteer. They do so because America – her ideals, her people and her way of life – is worth defending.
The entire nation owes our military personnel and veterans a huge debt of gratitude, and ensuring that debt is properly repaid is one of my top priorities in Congress. It is critically important that we provide high-quality, timely care for those who have sacrificed so much in service to our country
As I travel North Carolina’s 5th District, I hear a similar refrain. No matter where I go, constituents tell me horror stories of their experiences with the Department of Veterans Affairs. Veterans are frustrated with the lack of service they’re receiving. They’re angry because they can’t get an appointment or a phone call returned. And they’re outraged, as I am, that the Obama administration is doing little to solve the multitude of problems that have been revealed.
My heart is always touched when veterans and their families describe their efforts to get service through the VA and how the VA wouldn’t help them until my office intervened. These stories affect me more than words can say. I’m always happy to know that my office has helped and my staff is encouraged when we get a problem solved. However, these veterans shouldn’t have to contact their congressional office to access the benefits they have earned.
North Carolina has one of the largest veteran populations in the country, which is why I am thrilled with the VA’s decision to open a new Health Care Center in Kernersville. The new center replaces the VA clinic and annex in Winston-Salem with expanded outpatient services and space. America’s veterans deserve better than the inexcusable misconduct and neglect that we’ve seen over the last few years at the VA, and it’s my hope this new facility will reduce the problems that local veterans face regarding access to health care.
The Kernersville Health Care Center will continue to deliver services that were offered at the Winston-Salem clinic such as primary care, mental health and Compensation and Pension exams. However, the new center will provide more than 20 different medical services, including outpatient specialty care. Expanded services include dialysis treatment, dental work, cardiac care and operating rooms.
By delivering services which veterans previously had to travel to other counties to receive, the new facility offers a one-stop-shop for care. It also offers a convenient and accessible location as well as plentiful parking. The Kernersville Health Care Center quadruples the amount of space that doctors, nurses and other medical professionals have to serve veterans in the Triad.
It is always an honor to assist veterans from the 5th District, and I encourage those who are having issues with the VA to contact my office. I thank our veterans for seeing the value of freedom and rising to America’s defense with unfailing strength.
Virginia Foxx is the U.S. Representative for North Carolina’s 5th congressional district.