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Friday, Apr. 29, 2016

SL loses bid for veteran's clinics

Monday, April 28, 2003

Disappointment is high this week following news from the Department of Veterans Affairs that Storm Lake did not end up in that department's plan for a community based outpatient clinic (CBOC).

Five new clinics are proposed in Iowa, and the one Storm Lake was vying for has gone to Spirit Lake.

Lloyd Galbraith, a member of the county's veterans affairs commission, is disappointed at the news. Asked when he feels an outpatient clinic will be established in B.V. County, he replies, "2025."

"A couple of us old diehards, we'll probably still be fighting for it when we die," Galbraith said. "Someday they'll wake up and realize we're veterans, too."

Galbraith, along with the county's Veterans Service Officer Clint Hoferman, have campaigned tirelessly for an outpatient clinic, meeting with elected officials and VA administrators and writing countless letters.

Over 2,400 people signed petitions last year supporting the establishment of a VA outpatient clinic in Storm Lake.

"A lot of people signing it weren't veterans, but they thought it was a good idea," Galbraith said. "We helped protect their freedoms as well as our own. It wasn't just a few people's freedom we all went to war for - it was for everybody."

Chris Nolte, director of Storm Lake Area Development, said his organization was disappointed with the news.

"I guess it kind of took us by surprise," he said. "We felt the process was going to take longer than this."

A continuing goal for SLADC this year was to assist with the establishment of a VA clinic in Storm Lake. Those efforts will not stop now, Nolte said.

He notes that Storm Lake had been identified as a clinic location in the past.

"That was jerked from underneath us," he said.

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