Montana's Congressman, Denny Rehberg, today contacted Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki asking him to support the creation of a fifth Vet Center in Helena. Montana currently has four such centers, located in Billings, Great Falls, Kalispell and Missoula. Secretary Shinseki recently visited Montana.
"Fulfilling the promises we made to our veterans transcends party and politics because it's just the right thing to do," said Rehberg. "Montana's a huge state, and when the weather's not cooperative, it's not an easy state to get around in. With the second highest per capita veterans population in the country, there are just too many brave men and women in our state capital who don't have the ease of access to a vets center that they deserve. That's why I'm asking VA Secretary Shinseki to provide the necessary funding to open a fifth Vet Center in Helena."
Rehberg's letter to Sec. Shinseki can be found below:
Dear Secretary Shinseki,
On behalf of Montana's veterans I want to thank you for taking the time to visit our state and learn more about our veteran's concerns. I appreciate your time and attention to these brave men and women who wore the uniform.
As you know, Montana is home to the second largest veterans population, per capita, in the nation. We are also one of the leading states in the number of men and women serving in the military, per capita. With such a large population of veterans it is vitally important that they are afforded the best care available. Vet Centers help in providing this vital care by bringing veterans' healthcare closer to home with less time spent waiting to see a doctor.
Currently, Montana has four Vet Centers located in Billings, Great Falls, Kalispell, and Missoula. I now urge you to provide funding for a fifth Vet Center to be located in our state capital of Helena. Even though the Ft. Harrison medical facility is located here, the area is vastly underrepresented for the kind of services a Vet Center provides.
The United States must honor its commitment to all of the dedicated service men and women whose sacrifices helped preserve the freedom we enjoy today. In order to do this we need to ensure that they have adequate access to VA facilities. As Montana's Congressman, I want to ensure that the health care promises made years ago to our veterans are kept, and bringing a Vet Center to Helena is another step toward reaching that goal.
I appreciate your time and attention to this very important request. Please don't hesitate to contact my office if I can be of further assistance.