Veteran care in the Heartland is praised by patients

Veteran care in the Heartland is praised by patients
By: Arnold Wyrick
MARION, Ill. - As the national spotlight continues to shine on the care of veterans at Walter Reed Hospital, local Veterans Administration facilities are also doing their best to provide a full range of medical care.
At the Marion VA Medical Center in Marion, Illinois their care facility opened a new Cardiac Cath Lab on Tuesday. "It will reduce their travel times and that of their families.  The veterans will be able to stay closer to home to receive the care that they need," says MArion VA Operations Manager Mike Browning.
But what do southern Illinois' veterans really think about the care they receive? "I was always skeptical about going there because I didn't think they were up to standards.  But now I have no problem with it at all.  I think they're just progressing, and progressing," says James Boles a Vietnam Veteran.
"Any time I go there I'm treated very cordially.  And I'm shown the kind of interest that feel like I should receive," says George Ritter a World War II Veteran.
The Marion facility is checked randomly throughout the year by the Veterans Administration.  And according to their spokeswoman Becca Shinneman, the center always receives above average marks for their care.
Which is something Shinneman says the staff take great pride in serving the needs of our veterans. "They're our heroes! The reason I can talk to the press, go to church and why you and I have jobs.  Our veterans ensure our freedoms are here for us.  It's an honor for us here at the Marion VA Medical Center to make sure their needs are meet daily.  And that they will  be meet in the future," Shinneman said.
In an effort to continue supporting our troops returning from the battlefields in Iraq and Afghanistan, the center is hiring on more counselors and starting support groups for soldiers suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.