Major progress visible on permanent Veterans Clinic - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Major progress visible on permanent Veterans Clinic

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) -

It's the culmination of a lot of time, effort and paperwork, extending from Lake Charles to Washington, D.C.

One man who's been involved throughout is Lake Charles Mayor Randy Roach, who says it's gratifying to see it finally happening.

"We've been talking about a VA clinic now for many, many years, and to actually see it coming out of the ground and to see it taking form, taking shape - you see the patient rooms, see where the doctors are going to be - you know it's really gonna happen. It's really coming, and we're really excited about it," said Roach.

And Roach doesn't lose sight of what it really means.

"Most of all, at the end of the day, what this is really all about is providing the medical care and the services that our veterans have been entitled to and been needing here for so long," he said.

Veteran Jim Jackson is especially pleased mental health services will be available.

"We're going to have one of the finest 26,000-square-foot clinics that's ever been around. We're going to have at least four doctor teams in here. We're going to have dentists, specialists; one of the great things, we're going to have a mental health team here," said Jackson.

They also need about 50 volunteers to help at the clinic.

"When you walk in and you check in to the kiosk, they're going to take the veteran and show him where to go. And when you walk in and somebody says, 'Welcome to the Lake Charles Veterans Clinic,' that's important," said Jackson.

Valerie Russell, the VA assistant director for activation, showed Roach, Jackson and others around the facility under construction. She says they hope people will volunteer.

"We'll have a variety of jobs, from serving coffee to greeting veterans, to maybe taking veterans back to and from their car. So we'll have a variety of duties that we will need assistance with," she said.

Those interested in volunteering are encouraged to apply. If you're willing to help, call 318-466-2708 or 318-466-2061 for more information. Prospective volunteers can apply in person between 9:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. on May 25 at the interim clinic, which is located at 814 West McNeese Street.

So, if you have a caring heart and a bit of Southern hospitality you may want to consider volunteering.     

Copyright 2017 KPLC. All rights reserved

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