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Personal importance of the VA

Re: “The VA is working just fine, thank you,” Andrew J. Cohen, May 12, 2018):

I agree wholeheartedly with the commentary: The VA is working just fine.

Don’t mess with my VA. I am a Vietnam combat veteran and a user of the Spokane Veterans Medical Center. The VAMC is more than a hospital, it is a community of veterans and those who know veterans. Indeed, many of the staff who assist us are veterans.

When I step into the VA, I know that I am among friends, men and women who have served their country. I am welcomed and treated with respect. When visiting Spokane’s other hospitals, I am just someone who is told to go sit down and wait. At the VA I am greeted with thanks, and offered a bevy of aids and programs to help, whether it be a shot for the flu, mental health, high blood pressure, diet and weight control, or a just plain “we care about you.”

I don’t want my VA privatized - with services going out to the lowest bidder, and return to the shareholders the only measure of success. As a veteran, I want the measure of success to be the respect and care given to the client - yes that’s us veterans who have given service to America.

Jim Kolva


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