Fort Collins, CO – The Republican candidate for the U.S. House seat representing the Second Congressional District, George Leing, has applauded the American Legion for establishing a Veterans Crisis Command Center at American Legion Post #4 in Fort Collins. The Command Center is intended to assist local veterans and family members affected by delays in access to health care at the VA's Fort Collins outpatient clinic. Leing attended a town hall meeting last evening conducted by the American Legion at Post #4 to provide information on the Command Center and to hear stories from veterans about their experiences with the VA system.
Leing said, “The American Legion is providing a vital service to our local veterans -- people who have stood to defend our country and to whom we owe our undying gratitude and support. Some of the veterans who spoke at the town hall meeting told positive stories of their care from the VA, but others reported extensive delays which are still ongoing. One veteran reported that he has been waiting for 4 years and 9 months for a determination of eligibility and has been told he will need to wait at least another 6 months. Another bemoaned a system suffering from what he called "deny, deny, until you die syndrome".
Hearings before the House Committee on Veterans' Affairs continued yesterday and a report of progress in cutting backlogs from VA officials was challenged by Committee Chairman Jeff Miller (R-FL). Leing commented, "I share Chairman Miller's concerns -- I'll believe that progress is being made when I hear it reported by the veterans themselves. The Department of Veterans Affairs must step up its efforts to reduce wait times and work in a transparent manner so that progress can be observed and confirmed."
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