Newspaper Editorial: Veterans Clinic Long Overdue

News-Press (Southwest Florida)

September 13, 2008 – Thursday was a great day for veterans in the U.S. House of Representatives, nationally and especially locally.

Not only did the House pass a cost-of-living increase for disabled veterans and dependents of deceased veterans, it authorized $131 million for the construction of a VA outpatient clinic in Cape Coral.

Rep. Connie Mack IV, R-Fort Myers, deserves credit for dogged pursuit of the project over the last few years.

Besides serving a major part of Mack’s constituency – the district has 124,000 retired and active service members, the country’s fourth-largest veterans population – the new clinic should stimulate economic growth by drawing health care services and health-related companies to the area.

“This is a critical project for Southwest Florida,” Mack said. “It is a fitting tribute to the tens of thousands of veterans in Southwest Florida who courageously served our country.”

The building could open as early as 2011. Mack urged the Senate to pass the bill quickly and we join him in that call.

Our veterans have waited long enough. And our area needs a shot in the arm.

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