LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - Traveling to Houston to receive certain medical services or to fill out paper work can be a hassle for several East Texas veterans.
"We all have to drive down to a major city to have it taken care of," said Lufkin Army veteran Joseph Naron. "It's kind of an inconvenience and a waste of gas."
The Lufkin VFW Post 1836 and staff from the Michael Debakey Veteran's Affairs Medical Center teamed up to bring the Houston staff to East Texas.
"We're here to find out from patients in this area what the things are that they need and what we can try to do to provide for them" said Michael Debakey, the VA Medical Center director.
This is the first time the VFW has hosted a town hall like this, but they saw a need to help local veterans get their affairs sorted out in an easier manner.
"They get a lot of their benefits figured out and figure out what they need to do and how to do it," said VFW Post 1836 Commander Jimmie Mosby. "Any questions they have, they can ask them and get good answers."
"That's actually what I've been hoping for, so I've actually been looking forward to this day for a few years now," Naron said.
Several veterans packed Post 1836, to ask questions and talk about problems they want to see addressed. The Houston staff was all ears, answering questions and trying to resolve issues.
"When we listen to our patients, when we learn from them, when we get to understand what their needs are, that helps us know what direction we need to go in," Walmus said.
Veterans certainly appreciated the Houston staff's time and effort.
"It actually shows they're putting out the effort to actually help us out," Naron said.
Walmus addressed the crowd before the meeting started to let them know the Charles Wilson VA Outpatient Clinic in Lufkin will not be closing down; it is still open.
Both Post 1836 and the Houston staff were impressed by the number of veterans that came out to the town hall meeting and hope to have more in the future.