FRANKFORT – The Kentucky State Senate on Monday adopted Sen. Ray S. Jones’ resolution (Senate Resolution 193) urging the United States Department of Veterans Affairs to consider establishing a VA Medical Center in Southeastern Kentucky.
“It would be very easy to establish a VA Medical Center in Southeastern Kentucky by contracting with a local hospital to provide the services for our veterans,” said Sen. Jones, D-Pikeville.
Kentucky only has two full-service veterans hospitals, the Lexington VA Medical Center and the Robley Rex VA Medical Center in Louisville. Jones says this leaves the veterans who are residents of Southeastern Kentucky no option other than to drive to Lexington, Louisville, or one of the surrounding states to utilize the services of a veterans hospital.
“Southeastern Kentucky is home to more than 34,000 veterans who have courageously served our country, many of whom sacrificed their own safety for the freedom of all Americans,” Jones said. “The courage and sacrifices exemplified by our veterans require no less than our unwavering determination to ensure that they are able to easily utilize the benefits they have so bravely earned.
“If the United States Department of Veterans Affairs would establish a VA Medical Center in Southeastern Kentucky, it would greatly ease travel burdens of many veterans residing in Southeastern Kentucky who turn to VA Medical Centers for their healthcare needs,” he added.
Sen. Johnny Ray Turner, D-Prestonsburg, is the primary co-sponsor of the resolution.
Jones represents the 31st district, which includes Pike, Martin and Johnson counties. Turner represents the 29th district, which includes Breathitt, Knott, Floyd and Letcher counties.