Oklahoma veterans, congressmen fight to keep Vinita VA clinic open – Tulsa, Oklahoma

Tulsa, Oklahoma 2021-12-01 17:55:02 –

Vinita, Oklahoma — Oklahoma veterans and members of the House of Representatives are fighting to keep the Vinita VA Clinic open.

“It’s really important to us,” said Philip Frost, a patient at Vinita VA Clinic.

The clinic serves more than 3,000 patients, many of whom come from the surrounding area. Closing a clinic can be a problem for many.

“This is a recurring event where I come here,” Frost said.

“This is a small community, but the place is always full. There are always veterans,” said James V. Heflin, commander of Vinita’s American Legion Post 40.

Despite its high demand, it faces a possible closure. These veterans and Oklahoma legislators are dissatisfied.

US Senators James Lankford and Jim Inhofe, along with US Senator Markwayne Mullin, letter They told Secretary of Veterans Affairs Denis McDonough that they were surprised at the plans to close it. In the letter, he said a recent lease indicates that the lease here was renewed in October and is not expected to expire until 2030. He also questioned why VA did not contact community and tribal leaders prior to the decision.

The closure has also upset staff and veterans. The staff told 2News Oklahoma that they didn’t know much about when the store would close.

The current plan is to relocate the clinic to Claremore, which can be a problem for veterans in the area, especially those who are not driving.

“I’m not thinking of an 80-year-old veteran who would reach Vinita if it were so expensive in the business world,” Heflin said. Clairemore? “

Heflin is working with community leaders to get answers about the closure and wants to prevent it from happening.

“I’m trying to say that you can’t fight big companies,” Heflin said. But we will take it as much as possible. “

Vinita’s American Legion is hosting the City Hall to discuss the closure at 7 pm on December 9.

2 News Oklahoma has contacted the Department of Veterans Affairs for comment and is still waiting for a reply.

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