Letter: Changes at VA could be devastating to veterans, community

Published 12:00 am Thursday, March 24, 2022

On behalf of our more than 10,000 Rowan County veterans, we thank Natalie Anderson for her front page article in Sunday’s (March 20) Salisbury Post, “Report recommends changes at Salisbury VA.”

We hope all veterans and citizens carefully read this article and fully understand the repercussions and consequences to our community if the Washington bureaucrats approve and force these recommendations to be implemented at our Salisbury Veterans Administration Medical Center.

If you did not read this article, it may be very important for you to understand the changes contained in this proposed legislation. For example, it may eliminate most, if not all, emergency room services, inpatient services and many outpatient services currently being provided to our veterans. If passed by Congress, these changes could also result in the loss of up to 1,000 or more medical and professional jobs at our VA.

The article indicated that our Salisbury VA served 77,742 veterans throughout 2020-21, and the proposed changes could force our veterans to travel to Charlotte or Kernersville for medical services. This may not be a viable option for a majority of veterans and their families.

Although the above changes are not imminent, if approved they could be phased in over the next several years. Now is the time for all our veterans and citizens to stand up, speak up and make our congressmen and senators fully aware of our opposition to these changes and the severe consequences they could have on our community and veterans. Please write or call your representatives in Washington today.

— Ronnie Smith