Veterans express concerns to Rep. Johnson regarding Hot Springs V.A. services
HOT SPRINGS, S.D. — South Dakota Congressman Dusty Johnson is making stops West River this week to visit schools and veterans.
On Tuesday, Johnson visited the State Veteran’s Home and Veteran’s Affairs Hospital in Hot Springs. Part of the visit was spent doing pinning ceremonies for Vietnam veterans.
Those events are a major focus for Congressman Johnson, who says he represents the federal government in giving recognition where it previously wasn’t.
Another highlight of the trip was talking to veterans and V.A. officials about services in Hot Springs. Rep. Johnson has passed legislation in Washington every year to keep the V.A. Hospital in Hot Springs from closing.
“The reality is, it provides critically important services to people who otherwise would have to drive dozens or hundreds of miles,” Rep. Johnson says. “We’ve made a commitment to those veterans; let’s make sure we’re making good on those promises.”
Veterans in the area say while the V.A. Hospital remains open, its services are lacking.
“We had a full service V.A. here. Now we have a band-aid station,” says Donald L. Ackerman, Sr., a retired U.S. Army veteran. “You can’t even go up there; you can’t even walk in.”
Ackerman says he’s thankful for Congressman Johnson’s attention to the issue as they continue to work for more solutions.