Opinion: Four Veterans Affairs Clinics in New Mexico Will Remain Open

Daniella Cressman


Soldiers are willing to sacrifice everything for our country.

They risk their lives overseas.

They leave their families at home—sometimes they have young children and a spouse who is distraught for months—even years—as fight in a war.

They know they might not come home, yet they have to the courage to fight for our country despite this.

So many soldiers die on the battlefield. Those that do survive often have physical or emotional wounds left from their experiences, sometimes both.

It's traumatizing. When they return home, they deserve the high-quality healthcare for what they have done, and too many of them do not receive that.

In rural areas, this situation can be even more difficult: veterans often have to drive long distances, which is expensive, especially right now with the cost of fuel.

The Department of Veterans Affairs had recommended that four out-patient clinics in rural New Mexico close.

"The Department of Veterans Affairs had recommended that VA community-based outpatient clinics in Las Vegas, Raton, Española and Gallup be closed, in part, because of a decline in patient volume in the last five years and projected declines for the rest of the decade. The recommendation came as part of a process aimed at modernizing Veterans Affairs clinics, which could include closing and relocating services." —Ryan Boetel

Thanks, in part, to Senator Heinrich, these clinics will now remain open.

“I’ve been hell bent on saving these clinics so vets in rural areas can get quality health care close to home...Today, I joined (Sen. Jon Tester, D-Montana) and a bipartisan group of senators to end the (Asset and Infrastructure Review) commission process (and) keep these clinics open.” —Senator Heinrich

The general consensus is that these clinics should be improved and modernized, but the veterans seeking care deserve to be treated during that process.

Personally, I disagree with war on every level. That being said, veterans deserve the utmost respect for the sacrifices they have made and ought to be able to access care whenever—and wherever—they need it.

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Canadian-American author writing about local politics, personal finance, & dining in Albuquerque.

Albuquerque, NM

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