There is an outcry from several Wiregrass veterans about the closing of Dothan's VA Clinic. A petition is out, asking that the clinic remain where it is.
David Filkins shops at the Petro Station on Napier Field Road in Grimes.
He's a Vietnam veteran who joined dozens of other veterans in signing a petition to keep the Dothan VA Clinic in the Circle City.
“I use the clinic,” Filkins says. “It's a wonderful facility, actually one of the finest in the country. This is the big city, not Fort Rucker.”
The Dothan VA Clinic on Alexander Drive was founded in 1996 and contracted through March 2008. That’s when federal VA officials want to move the clinic to an unused portion of the hospital at Fort Rucker.
However, Wiregrass Veteran's Alliance Coordinator, Wendell Stepp, distributed petitions asking VA officials to meet with local veterans and discuss the issue. “We went to war and a lot of us never came back,” he said. “We deserve courtesy to have them come down and talk to us.”
If they come down and talk to veterans, they will likely hear complaints about the drive to Fort Rucker and the hassle of security at the Fort Rucker Gate.
Pat Forsey is a Vietnam veteran who works at the Petro Station.
She was extra busy Tuesday making pizzas for dozens of people who came in to sign the petition. “Everybody is signing it saying they did it for us, now let's do it for them,” she said.
The petitions are distributed around the Circle City for the next month.
If you are interested in signing one, you can go to the DAV or the VFW.
As it stands now, the VA Clinic will move to Fort Rucker after March 2008.