American Legion Sets Up Crisis Center For Local Veterans

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BALTIMORE (WJZ) — For the first time, the American Legion is putting up a crisis center for veterans in our area. They are responding to the wait time scandal that has rocked the Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center.

Tracey Leong explains how they’re helping those here at home.

The American Legion is setting up shop across the country trying to restore faith in the VA healthcare system, servicing all the worst-ranked city—including Baltimore.

Vietnam veteran John Hunter Jr. came to the crisis center for assistance in adaptive housing and transportation.

“I can’t walk,” he said. “My balance is so off.”

A war injury the VA has treated for more than 40 years.

“Sometimes it takes some time; sometimes the doctors forget about you,” he said.

The American Legion is stepping in to fix these types of problems.

“Build the VA back up and make it exactly what it was built to be: a safe haven for veterans,” said Verna Jones, American Legion.

In a recent audit of access to healthcare, the VA Baltimore healthcare system ranked in the top 10 for worst wait times. With more than 55,000 scheduled appointments, 12% waited at least a month and four percent waited at least two to three months.

These crisis centers serve several hundred veterans and their main goal is to provide immediate answers to their questions.

“It’s sad that veterans need this level of service. It never should have gotten to this,” Jones said.

By putting the necessary resources under one roof, the American Legion is working to get veterans the care they deserve—a move that Hunter appreciates.

“You have to push the issue. If you don’t push it, you’ll get lost in the system,” he said.

The Veterans Command Crisis Center will be located at the Community Living Rehab Center, 3900 Loch Raven Baltimore on Wednesday and Thursday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Friday from 8 a.m. to noon.

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