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LETTER: Let’s find ways to save the VA

To the Editor:

I fully agree with the “Save The VA” alternative, which is to renovate the existing hospital and domiciliary instead of construction or lease of a new facility. Expand and restore hospital services at Hot Springs VA for a length of time (recommended 10 years) to get baseline data regarding veteran need for and access to health care, on which to support future alignment plans. Exgage Compensated Work Therapy (CWI) for veterans and teach historic building standards and methods to support VA maintenance programs of the National Historic Landmark and other recognized historic structures in the Black Hills.

Expand on educational opportunities for veterans and staff in the catchment area, including Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. Undertake an expanded study of effectiveness of PTSD/TBI/substance abuse treatment in a therapeutic, rural setting. Utilize expanded work-therapy programs, educational opportunities, and physical and mental programs to treat homeless veterans, and assist unemployed and underemployed veterans.

Comments must be postmarked or sent electronically by Aug. 16. Email to; mail to Staff Assistant to the Director, VA Black Hills Health Care System, 113 Comanche Road, Fort Meade, S.D., 57741; or submit online via (Docket ID VA-2014-VACO-0002).