July 1 was a day for celebration in Walla Walla. After years of hard work and coordination between leaders at the local, state, and federal level, we broke ground at the Walla Walla State Veterans Home.
This progress is another example of the Walla Walla Way: imagine what is possible and work hard to make it happen. I am so grateful for the way this community supports our Veterans. It’s a model for the whole country.
The Veterans Home will have capacity for 80. In order to meet the needs of Veterans in southeast Washington, this long-term care and nursing facility will complement services provided at Walla Walla’s Jonathan M. Wainwright Memorial VA Medical Center. It is part of the continued expansion of the Walla Walla campus; a new outpatient clinic opened earlier this year.
Watching fireworks over Spokane this weekend, I thought about what these beautiful displays represent. Independence — which we so rightly celebrate — comes at a price, and we owe immeasurable gratitude to those who continue to defend it today.
As your representative in Congress, I am fighting to create a 21st Century Department of Veterans Affairs — that is focused on meeting our Veteran’s needs. When it comes to the VA, we must be about serving our Vets, not serving bureaucracy.
On June 9, I met with Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert McDonald at my office on Capitol Hill. I took the concerns of our Veterans directly to the Secretary. We had a productive meeting discussing numerous viable, long-term solutions to help those who have served our country.
Meeting veterans and hearing their stories is one way to support them and formulate policy to benefit them. Veterans must be at the center of our solutions. They must receive the care they need in a timely manner. They must be treated with compassion. And they are our priority.
The progress we’re making in Walla Walla is encouraging — but there is much more to be done. I hope you’ll continue to stay in touch. If you, or a veteran you know, need help, let me know right away. We must find solutions for our Veterans — and, together, I know we can.
I was pleased to have Chaplain Benjamin Vegors join me as a special guest. Chaplain Vegors served in the Army Air Corp from 1942-1945. After 42 years of service as Chaplain of the Jonathan M. Wainwright Memorial VA Medical Center, he retired in April of last year.
Learning about the VA Call Center at the VA Summer of Service open house
Honoring Brian Westfield director of the Jonathan M. Wainwright Memorial VA Medical Center, for his excellence and commitment to serving veterans in Walla Walla
Listening to a Veteran in Walla Walla