Elected officials are pushing for better veterans care after Grand Rapids VA scandal

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The Grand Rapids Home for Veterans is under fire for its poor treatment of veterans after an audit was released Friday.
 
Jason Allen, a candidate for Michigan’s First Congressional District said, “I’m very troubled about the findings of the report and I trust that the Governor and the Board of Managers will take the appropriate steps to ensure that care improves for our veterans and they get the care they deserve.”
 
State Senator Tom Casperson said, “There were shifts where 22 people didn’t show on occasion, it wasn’t all the time, but those things were happening. That’s not appropriate. You can’t run a facility like that and then have 22 people that don’t show up on a given day. Seems to me that’s problematic.” 
 
The state’s other veterans facility, the DJ Jacobetti Home for Veterans in Marquette, was not listed for any wrongdoing in the report.
 
State Representative Scott Dianda said, “We have the shining example of the best care at the Jacobetti center here in Marquette.  We need to make sure that the people who are running the Jacobetti center are also in the discussion on how to improve the Grand Rapids veteran’s facility.  Those veterans are the only reason I’m standing here today along with everybody else and we got our freedom.”
 
 “I think they should take a look at the Jacobetti center and try to mirror it and not to try to change the procedure.  When you have something that works, and I think the Jacobetti center for the most part works.”
 
Ensuring that all veterans get better care is the focus of proposed federal legislation.
 
U.S. Senator Gary Peters said, “I’m working on legislation right now that allows someone to, if they have medical certification that they are indeed suffering from PTSD or traumatic brain injury that they can have their discharge changed so they can have access to the VA, so they can get the help they so desperately need.”
 
That care is now only available to those who have been granted an honorable discharge and Peters says, in many cases, those injuries could have been the cause of the discharge.

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