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Construction Kick Off for New Veteran's Affairs Clinic - KOAM TV 7

Construction Kick Off for New Veteran's Affairs Clinic

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JOPLIN, MISSOURI -

 This time next year, the new Veteran's Affairs Clinic near 32nd and Connecticut in Joplin is expected to be up and running.

The ceremony started off with the traditional presentation of colors, addresses from city and hospital officials..and then celebratory painting on the wall to kick-off construction on the inside of the clinic.

But what is going to come of this building is expected to help immeasurably.

"There are a lot of veterans that don't have the means or the transportation to get there so they just don't go. So I think having something local like this in the Southwest part of the state..a lot closer. I think it will really help them out" says Jim Hammond, a Vietnam veteran.

The Veteran's Affairs expects about 7,000 veterans to be attending the Joplin clinic when it opens, but as years go by, they expect that to expand by about 2,000 people.

"The VA provides free health care and medicine where on the outside, you'd have to pay for that" says John Dismer, a Vietnam veteran.

This 24,00 square foot facility will have a primary care, audiology, and mental health clinic..allowing more veterans in the area to get help.

"PTSD is such a big deal now in veterans. And there is so many of them that are taking their own lives everyday. And there is something that has to be done to help those people" says Hammond.

"What we have found when we open new clinics like this is more veterans that weren't previously using our services...because they didn't want to have to drive..will most likely join the VA. Just because they no longer have to drive" says Skye McDougall, Ph.D. from the Veteran's Affairs.

"It makes it better on us for traveling and the weather and whatever. And we just appreciate you and love you because you're watching out for us" says James Jordan, a veteran.

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