St Augustine Community Based Outpatient Clinic fails vets

350-PAST-COMMANDERS-DAV-6St Augustine Community Based Outpatient Clinic fails vets

By Michael Isam
Special to Historic City News

A discussion regarding the future of the St. Augustine Community Based Outpatient Clinic caused leaders of Disabled American Veterans Chapter 6 to scuttle the regular agenda for this month’s meeting; calling attention to the seriousness of the problem for Historic City News readers who are serving or separated from military service.

The first order of business of the charitable non-profit organization was to award Past Commander pins to Shawn Prentiss, 2007-2008; Judy Davis, 2010-2012; and A. J, Sartin, 2012-2014. The Chapter remained active because of the commitment of these leaders.

Before advancing to the discussion regarding the veterans clinic, Herb “The Sock Man” Naumann, was recognized for his mission to make sure that all veterans in nursing homes in St. Johns County have warm comfortable socks.

“I plan to give out 1,000 pairs of socks by December 31, 2014,” Naumann explained. “I am on my way to having distributed more than 600 pair so far this year.”

Naumann says that he also provides socks to active duty personnel in Afghanistan; even though that need is not as great since the draw-down. Naumann recognizes that there is a continual need because more elder veterans are going to nursing homes.

Historic City News readers are encouraged to donate to the cause by contacting Herb Naumann at 904-794-5307. Herb has hearing challenges, so speak slowly, clearly, with volume — but do not shout.

The largest portion of the meeting was dedicated to the history of communications between St. Johns County and, primarily, Nick Ross, who is Assistant Director for Outpatient Clinics with the Department of Veterans Affairs.

The future of the St. Augustine Community Based Outpatient Clinic, run by the Department of Veterans Affairs Health System, is currently in jeopardy as the Department of Veterans Affairs must vacate the current building by March 31, 2015 or face a $50,000 per month fine.

If you would like to attend the Veterans Council meeting to learn more about the risk presented to veterans in our area, the Council meets at the Elks Lodge on A1A South, on June 26th at 7:00 p.m., and Ross is scheduled to be present.

Veterans have been left in the dark regarding the future of the St. Augustine Community Based Outpatient Clinic which has led to much speculation, propaganda, and volumes of rumor.

Senator Nelson’s office promised to “rattle some cages”. Representative DeSantis, who recently declared himself to be a champion for veterans, basically turned his back on the situation saying he “could do nothing as his hands were tied.”

We are dedicated to a single purpose: empowering veterans to lead high-quality lives with respect and dignity. We accomplish this by ensuring that veterans and their families can access the full range of benefits available to them; fighting for the interests of America’s injured heroes on Capitol Hill; and educating the public about the great sacrifices and needs of veterans transitioning back to civilian life. We are providing free, professional assistance to veterans and their families in obtaining benefits and services earned through military service and provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs and other agencies of government.

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Photo credits: © 2014 Historic City News contributed photograph by DAV Chapter 6

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