From the Office of State Senator Juan "Chuy" Hinojosa

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 8, 2005
CONTACT: Melissa del Bosque (512) 463-0120, cell 947-4046

Veteran's Day a Time to Honor War Veterans and Urge Our Government to Support its Veterans

AUSTIN -- Senator Juan "Chuy" Hinojosa said more needs to be done to support our veterans and that this Friday will serve not only as a day to honor veterans but also a day to advocate for more government resources.

"We answered the call when our government asked us to go to war, now we ask that the government support us by providing the healthcare services we need. A veteran in South Texas shouldn't have to drive 250 miles to San Antonio for medical and surgical care," Senator Hinojosa said.

During the 79th legislative session, Senator Hinojosa was the senate sponsor of HCR 138 urging Congress and the Department of Veterans Affairs to build a veterans hospital in South Texas.

The Senator who served his country as a U.S. Marines squad leader in Vietnam from 1966 to 1968, commended the veterans in the Last Patrol march, who are currently walking from Edinburg to San Antonio to advocate for a veterans hospital in South Texas.

"Their walk highlights their commitment to the cause of bringing much needed health services to the veterans of South Texas," Senator Hinojosa said. "Their actions remind the federal government that a 250-mile trip to see a doctor is unacceptable."

Lydia Caballero, a Vietnam veteran and the march coordinator, said that veterans have gone long enough with only basic medical services offered.

"The wait between doctor visits is disgusting, I don't know about you, but I think it is laughable to assume that anyone will know they're getting sick a year and a half ahead of time."

To honor those soldiers who fought and who died during the Vietnam War, Senator Hinojosa also passed HCR 36 in the Senate to build a monument on the Texas Capitol grounds honoring Texans who fought in the Vietnam War. The Senator and fellow Vietnam Veteran Rep. Wayne Smith have started a fund to raise money for the monument. Anyone interested in donating funds to construct the monument can send a check to the "Texas Capitol Vietnam Memorial Committee" at P.O. Box 2184 Austin, TX 78768-2184.

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