Smedley's at the VA Hospital, Boston, MA

February 09, 2018

The Smedley Butler Chapter recently stood outside of the VA to educate veterans and staff on the recent privatization efforts!  Below is a report back from Pat Scanlon and their press release!

Report back by Pat:
It was a little cold but the reception by the vets and workers was phenomenal and helped keep us warm. We gave out three hundred copies of our press release (also attached) and over 100 bumper stickers: "I Love My VA".
We were limited to being outside the VA Hospital property. As soon as any of us arrived we were approached by security and told we could not park on the property and had to be outside the gate. Once the police saw what we were all about they became very friendly and supportive and left us alone. We stood at the main entrance with our banner, "Save the VA, Vets say NO to Privatization" We had hoped to be right at the front doors. Not to be deterred, as vehicles were entering the front gate we waved our press release and 90 % of the vehicles stopped and received a copy and a bumper sticker. When we met people who worked in the hospital we asked if they would take some of our press releases inside and distribute them to their fellow workers, which they did. One young vet who came over and talked with us ended up being in charge of the front desk. We gave him a stack to give out right at the entrance. One person who came over was from the Federal Government Employee Union and he took several copies and gave us contact information for the head of the Union who we will be contacting. When vets stopped in their car we gave them the press release and a bumper sticker and asked if he / she would drop one at the office he / she was visiting. They did that as well.
Overall a great day, we made contact with a lot of vets and hospital employees.
One interesting fact, most vets did not seem to be aware of "choice" and the privatization of the VA.
Somehow the vets need to be better educated about this issue. Once explained 100% agreed with us. 

Press Release:

BOSTON—Military Veterans, many who receive medical services through the Veterans Administration, will stand in support of the Veterans Healthcare System outside the front entrance of the Jamaica Plain VA Medical Facility located at 150 S. Huntington Ave, Boston on Thursday February 8 from 11 am to 1 pm.

"Military Veterans are coming to the Jamaica Plain VA to show our support for a medical system that is second to none, that provides the highest quality medical services and caring response to the health care needs of veterans," stated Doug Stuart, a Vietnam Veteran, who is on the Executive Committee of the Boston chapter of Veterans For Peace, the organizers of the event. "The vast majority of veterans who use the VA Healthcare System know the quality of care and respect each veteran receives when they walk through the doors of a VA medical facility." continued Stuart.

Veterans across the country are increasingly alarmed and adamantly opposed to the slow dismantling of the VA Healthcare System, sending much needed resources to private medical facilities whose services have not yet been evaluated for quality of care or costs.  The VA Healthcare System has been serving Veterans for over 150 years, since the end of the Civil War. Now with the institution of the "Choice" program that undermines VA services, privatization of the VA Healthcare System is well underway. Every dollar diverted to a private healthcare provider is one less dollar for the VA Healthcare System.

Veterans Say No to VA Privatization
Save the VA: Fix, Fund and Fully Staff

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