Veteran Coalition focus on new clinic - KLFY News 10

Veteran Coalition focus on new clinic

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The Veteran's Action Coalition met with their new veterans affairs director Thursday afternoon in Lafayette. He was on hand to answer any questions they had which for many was about a super outpatient clinic that they've been talking about for three years. But Martin Traxler, the new director, says it's still in the hands of the federal government.

This was the first meeting Southwest Louisiana Veterans had with the new veteran affairs director of their region, with most of their questions focused on a super outpatient clinic in Lafayette.

"The Lafayette clinic right now is a focus of ours," said Traxler.

But the new director Martin Traxler says new rules in Washington are slowing down the already year long process of funding.

"Rather than funding clinics like this one over the period of their life, they've decided to address them as a capitol lease which means that money needed to in the budget before we begin," said Traxler.

He says as of Thursday United States legislators from Louisiana are speaking with the VA to get funding and once the clinic gets funding there will be no more hurdles.

"Depending on where the space is and how much build out there is we hope to have that construction completed and be serving veterans in that space in 12-18 months." said Traxler.

A statement put out at Thursday nights meeting says not only is the absence of a super outpatient clinic in Lafayette preventing treatment, but forcing them to drive five or six hours back and forth to Houston or Shreveport.

"He has given us the assurance with a handshake that he is going to help Lafayette get a much stronger veteran clinic and the services we've asked for is really the key to it and giving services in Lafayette and eliminating all the travel time." said Rodney Hamilton

The coalition says their ultimate goal with the super clinic is to serve over 60,000 military veterans in southwest Louisiana.

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