SALEM, Va. (WFXR) — A group of veterans gathered outside the Salem VA Medical Center on Thursday to address concerns about the hospital closing down.
Last month, the Department of of Veterans Affairs unveiled a plan for closing aging or underused facilities.
The proposal would close centers where veteran populations are dropping, as well as expand facilities in growing urban centers.
A former Army medic organized the gathering on Thursday, April 28, saying she’s concerned the proposed outpatient clinics will negatively affect veterans she fought so hard to help.
“These c-boxes, are they full service? Are they full capacity like this hospital is taking care of all of your needs?” said Army veteran Deborah Saunders. “I would guess not, and that’s my concern, you’re taking away something that’s functioning. You heard the old antic, ‘if it’s not broke, don’t fix it?'”
However, other veterans at the event say they support the closure, saying they want to see expanded access to other hospitals.
President Joe Biden has until March 2023 to approve or reject the recommendations.