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LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) -
Since opening up last May, the Lake Charles VA Interim Clinic has made it easier for Lake Area veterans to get medical treatment. Before it opened, many of them had to travel to Jennings or Alexandria for treatment.
"The doctor is fantastic. The nurses are really good, too. So, I have no complaints with that," said Bill Briley, Vietnam veteran.
However, Briley does take issue with the recent removal of a larger RV that served as a waiting area with a private exam room.
"The motor home has been moved and now they have another small bus with very little privacy inside for your checkups. It's all curtained off. Not a real good situation," said Briley.
A spokesperson with the Alexandria VA Health Care System tells us the RV was removed last week for routine maintenance and that the recent rains have delayed the vehicle's break inspection. They expect it to be back in service on Thursday and at the latest, on Monday.
In the meantime, veterans say the current facilities, especially in this weather, aren't adequate.
"Then you don't have a proper bathroom. You have a porta-potty you have to use. Urine is all over the floor and all over the seat. That's not right," said Charles Mitchell III, Vietnam veteran.
Officials agree the temporary set up is not ideal and are working for a long-term solution - something Briley said can't come soon enough.
"I would like to see us get a nice building with bathrooms with heat and cool and a nice waiting room. I think we deserve it," said Briley.
In addition to the return of the mobile clinic, a gray modular building nearby will soon serve as the waiting area. According to officials, it has air/heat and handicapped restrooms. It too is expected to be open by Monday.
Meanwhile, any type of permanent VA Clinic needs congressional approval. Congressman Charles Boustany has said this is a top priority of his moving into his next term.