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Barrow meets with vets
Mentions plans for outpatient clinic are moving forward
070209 BARROW 01 web
Paul Whitlock, Jr., center right, urges U.S. Rep. John Barrow (D-12th District) to do what's best for the country rather than play politics as the Congressman met with Statesboro and Bulloch County residents at the Honey-Bowen Building Thursday.
    As part of his 2009 Veterans’ Tour, Congressman John Barrow paid a visit to the Honey Bowen Building to field questions from local constituents.
    Barrow is the U.S. Representative from Georgia’s 12th District, which covers 22 southeast Georgia counties including Bulloch. He spoke to about 50 people in the room and answered questions ranging from his vote on the cap and trade bill to his position on immigration and socialized medicine. However, the Congressman’s focus was on veterans and veterans’ issues, including the announcement that plans were moving forward for an outpatient veterans’ clinic to be built in Statesboro.
    “We have been preliminarily approved for an (outpatient clinic) here in Statesboro,” Barrow said. “We are now in the process of formally implementing that plan.”
    Barrow went on to say that a business plan has to be approved and submitted to the Secretary of Veterans Affairs by the end of September. Once approved by the Secretary, Congress will be notified and the Statesboro clinic will be added to the list of clinics and included in the congressional budget.
    “It should be within the next year and a half that the thing is actually up and running here in Statesboro,” Barrow said, crediting Ray Hendrix for being instrumental in getting the proposal off the ground.
The congressman also discussed the increases in annual Veterans health care spending, citing an spending increase of $17.7 billion over the last two and a half years.
    “We have increased spending on Veterans health care by 40 percent more than where we were in 2007. I think that’s a step in the right direction,” Barrow said. “It is far from what we need to do and we have to figure out how to spend these resources more wisely, but the first thing to do is to recognize that we’ve been starving the VA for too long now and we have to plus up what we’re doing.”
    Aside from answering questions, Barrow stressed that he has a veterans’ affairs case worker on his staff that can help individuals with specific problems relating to the VA. Visit Barrow’s Web site,, for more information or to contact the congressman. He added that he sends staff members into the communities so citizens can more easily contact his office.
    “I make an appointment with the community so you don’t have to make an appointment with us,” Barrow said.
    Congressman Barrow will be in Milledgeville this morning at American Legion Post 523.

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