Many veterans in Waco are upset after the Department of Veterans Affairs announced it will move forward with relocating its post-traumatic stress disorder program.
The announcement came during a virtual town hall meeting on Wednesday when they decided the PTSD program should move from Waco to Temple.
Now veterans in the Waco area are speaking up. They say the drive, which is about 40 miles, could hold some people back from getting the care they need.
"For me, it's a little more difficult," said Adam Pechacek, Air Force veteran. "I live in Mart, Texas, about 30 minutes from here so it adds to my drive time. I'm used to going just down the road to Waco, now I'm going an extra hour out all the way to Temple."
"My motivation is always to follow through with it, but sometimes there are circumstances you can't help especially if it's far away, maybe you have car trouble one day or you might miss the shuttle going from Waco to Temple," said Gilbert Garcia, Army Reserves.
Pechacek is currently working on getting into the PTSD program. Garcia has been in it since 2013.
Both veterans agree that this service is vital to helping them transition back to life as a civilian.
Bill Flores, who represents the Waco area, has vowed to stop the change. Meanwhile, John Carter, who represents the Temple area, has given support to moving the PTSD program.
Patrick Hutchison is a public affairs specialist for the Central Texas Veterans Health Care System. He said those in the initial 6-week inpatient PTSD program will have to go to Temple for their services, but those in the outpatient programs can continue their services at the Waco VA.
Frequently asked questions on the move can be found here.
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