Letter to the Editor: VA Office Closure Saves Money, Hurts Veterans


I received an email from the Department of Veterans Affairs, Puget Sound Health Care System, a couple of days before The Chronicle’s article regarding the closure of the Chehalis Veterans Clinic. In the email, there was no mention of why it was being closed, but it did imply that it was for our veterans’ benefit to better serve us. 

At the time I didn't understand how we could be served better, if we now have to drive an extra 45 miles for service. It takes me about 10 minutes to drive to the clinic now. After the clinic closes, it will take about 45 minutes over one of the worst freeways in the nation. For those vets living in East Lewis County and those from other Southwest Washington areas, it will add many more minutes and miles. 

After reading your article, I now understand it's not to "better serve" the veterans, but to save money. I find it strange that the government can find billions of dollars for worthless projects that do nothing to help this country, but cannot expend a few thousand to "better serve" those who have sacrificed their well being and many who are now disabled to enable those in power to remain there.

I asked our congresswoman about this program as soon as I received the email but have yet to hear from her. I would have written to our two senators, but because I am from Lewis County and have not yet "learned how to vote properly," I knew I would not have received a reply. At any rate, thank you to The Chronicle for clearing up the primary reason for this change to our veteran care.


James E. Howe