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January/February 2010

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Slow But Sure Growth

BY CAROL SCHETROMPF, DIRECTOR

I hope you all had a wonderful holiday. It’s the best time for family and friends to get together and enjoy just being together and possibly eating a bit too much, too.

Before Thanksgiving, Barry Hagge and I spent a week in beautiful Puerto Rico. Jorge Pedroza and all of the Puerto Rico VVA members insured the weather stayed nice—no hurricanes, thank you—and we were treated very warmly by all. 

We visited the VA Hospital and an outlying VA Clinic. The hospital has some new equipment and is being painted, but services are still lacking. The clinics are even worse when it come to services, space, and medical providers. 

It seems that the VA does not take into account that it takes almost three hours to drive forty miles each way to those facilities. Transportation from the outlying areas to the San Juan VA Hospital is very difficult for many veterans. We found that many of the problems that the veterans faced two years ago still persist. Not many are being fixed. 

I was contacted by a member in the Virgin Islands about getting that VVA chapter back up and running again. As it happened, Barry, Jorge, and I were at a reception for the new Veterans Benefits Administration Director. I was able to meet with the gentleman who contacted me, as well as with the VBA Director of the American Virgin Islands. They were both very excited about getting the chapter going again and possibly starting another chapter on St. John. The chapter on St. Thomas hasn’t been active in about six years. I am working with them to get the paperwork completed and sent to VVA national headquarters.

Slowly but surely, Region 4 is growing, thanks to all of you.

 

 

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