There are many veterans in Southeastern Kentucky, but no VA hospital. The nearest VA hospitals are in Lexington, Louisville, and Johnson City, Tennessee.
Now Kentucky State Senator Ray Jones' resolution urging the Department of Veterans Affairs to create a VA Medical Hospital in Southeastern Kentucky has been adopted by the Kentucky State Senate, and veterans are reacting to the resolution.
Veterans at the Veterans of Foreign Wars Office in Cumberland say they have to drive over 80 miles and over Black Mountain to get to the nearest VA Medical Hospital.
"It's a difficult drive for a lot of veterans because in many cases veterans are ill to start with. And then you pile on top of the illness a requirement to make a round trip to Johnson City and back ,it's almost overwhelming," said Cleon Cornett, a member of the Army from 1956 until 1959.
"It's a difficult road to drive even in good weather. It's a real narrow, snaky, curling road," said Carl Hatfield, a veteran of the Korean and Vietnam wars.
"If it has ice or snow on it you just can't get across it. Or fog, sometimes it's very foggy going that way too," said Jimmy Cooper, a veteran of the Air Force and Army.
Senator Ray Jones' resolution urging The Department of Veterans Affairs to consider putting a VA Medical Hospital in Southeastern Kentucky is popular with this group of heroes.
"Tremendous idea, it's needed badly. It's been needed for many many generations," Cornett said.
Some veterans say that it's not just veterans from his generation that are going to benefit from a closer VA medical Center.
These young men and women are coming back with limbs missing, and driving for them is going to be a serious problem," Hatfield said.
They people in the military from Southeastern Kentucky deserve a nearby VA Hospital.
Appointments are usually only available in the morning. Patients of VA Hospitals often need another person to drive them to their appointments.
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