Tags: Exclusive Interviews | veterans | administration | hospital | care

Gen. Vallely: Expand Veterans Care Beyond Big Cities

Monday, 11 Nov 2013 09:13 PM

By Cynthia Fagen

Americans paid tribute Monday to the brave souls who served the nation. But for some military veterans, war still rages on the home front, where cutbacks have affected Veterans Administration services for them, says retired U.S. Army Gen. Paul Vallely, a senior military analyst for Fox News.

"I'm concerned about some of the problems in the Veterans Administration and the cutbacks there," Vallely, who served in Vietnam and now runs "Stand Up America US," a conservative group that promotes First and Second amendment rights, told "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV.

Story continues below video.

He said there's a need to expand veterans healthcare services outside big cities.

"We have some very excellent hospital service areas, but they're mostly located in the metropolitan areas, such as Washington, D.C., and Bethesda — Walter Reed. But I'm very concerned when you get into the outlying areas, when they go back home and they don't have that kind of service and they have to travel hundreds of miles to get to a VA Center.

"We need to look at the future for these veterans that they can get the service at their nearest hospital and show a card, just the same way they would in a veterans' hospital," Vallely said Monday.

He said those medical facilities will have to deal with military members not only returning home suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder but also having thoughts of suicide.

"We have the highest rate of suicides we've ever had. Not only in the force, but also family members," he said.

Some of this, he said, results from "the amount of rotations and deployments many of these members of our Armed Forces have had into the Middle East."

"You got financial problems, you've got marital problems, you've got children in trouble, just the same things we see in our society, and it's happening there.

"But when they're separated and they don't have that cohesive family to take care of those problems, a dad at home or a mother, this suicide rate is a real problem," Vallely said.

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