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Veterans, unable to get care, march to nearest hospital -- 225 Miles!

Twenty veterans, mainly from the Vietnam war, celebrated Veterans Day by protesting the lack of any nearby hospital for the 47,000-80,000 vets living in the Texas/Mexico border area by marching to San Antonio to impress people with the great distance they must travel for medical care.
A clinic exists in McAllen, but, for even an x-ray or dental care, they must travel to San Antonio 225 miles away. A bus provides transportation once a week to the VA hospital in San Antonio with no way to return for a week! The marchers were mainly in their 50's. They walked in relays, taking 6 days to reach the Alamo in San Antonio. A crowd of mainly tourists took pictures and heard them speak.
They were protesting that there was a great need for a hospital closer to home which has been denied by the military. All along the way, people cheered and saluted the group who carried the bright colored flags of their units.
Sadly, the present procedure is to cut down on the number of Veterans hospitals nationally making appointments hard to obtain and visiting by families near to impossible. This is how the Bush administration shows its gratitude for the soldiers who have fought and been injured in our past wars and even in the present war in Iraq!

--Vivian Weinstein

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