Veterans Demand VA Secretary Change Clinic Location
Controversy Erupts Over New VA Clinic Under Construction
Some of the most well known local veterans in the Chattahoochee Valley are sounding off over the construction of a new V.A. clinic on River Road in North Columbus. The group of leaders representing various veteran’s organizations said the developer of the current project was hand picked from a short list by Veterans Affairs without any input from local veterans.
“I don’t know who is getting paid but this is an issue,” Pat Liddell said. “Would somebody with some common sense look at this thing? Would somebody just one time consider the veteran that got himself shot all to pieces and can’t ride a taxi cab easily or can’t get on and off a bus,” Sam Nelson said echoing his comrades sentiments about the location selected without consulting local veterans organizations, part of the V.A.’s own regulations.
“The big frustration I think a lot of us face is why did the V.A. pick it? They are supposed to include stakeholders and I haven’t found anybody here yet that I would consider a stakeholder that had a clue why that decision was made. So I think at a minimum the V.A. owes us an explanation,” retired Colonel John House said at the press conference.
House is currently serving as the at large City Councilor in Columbus joining a chorus of veterans demanding answers from Secretary Robert Wilkie. “At the very least we are suggesting that number one, Secretary Wilkie re look the abomination that should have been stillborn going up in North Columbus,” former Mayor Bob Poydasheff told the crowd.
The group said the now vacant health department on Comer Avenue is ready to go right now and it’s more suitable to veteran’s needs so they want Secretary Wilkie to change locations, never mind the $3 million dollars the developer already spent in North Columbus. “If you’re stupid enough to pay $3 million dollars knowing you’re already in violation of the regulation, we use to say in the old days what was it, Xin Loi? Xin Loi, that’s Vietnamese for sorry about that,” Lt. Colonel Nelson said.