This past weekend, the VA Medical Center in Iron Mountain demonstrated the commitment they have for their veterans; in this case, the troops from the 1432nd Engineering Company.
â??My job is making sure that our veterans that come back from Iraq and Afghanistan get information for their medical appointments, that they make a smooth transition from their military health care to the VA health care,â?? said program manager, Kathleen Truax.
Making that smooth transition is not easy, so when the center knew the troops would all be together this weekend, they specifically offered medical appointments and services to them. â??For us, it's great because these guys don't have to take off work or school or anything,â?? said Captain Jesse Kohtala.
It gives them the chance to receive specialty care and understand how the VA works. â??Getting into the system, and then like an overall health check-up, blood drawn for people that need lab work,â?? Kohtala said.
The troops could come both on Saturday and Sunday for medical appointments, but it was on Sunday that close to the entire unit, almost 90 of them, came to participate in health care sessions, with topics such as PTSD and healthy living. â??Weâ??re giving information on health promotion, disease prevention, smoking classes; we've got information on pharmacy services,â?? Truax said. Many of the medical and administrative personnel volunteered their time to make these services available.
It all shows what Kathleen calls, â??a strong commitment to make sure that these guys get the information they need and just for the public in general to learn a little bit more about the VA and what we do," Truax said.