Article Posted -- August 10, 2016
These are exciting times for veterans in Sussex and Warren counties. At the forefront is the impending opening of the Community Base Outpatient Clinic (CBOC) in Newton in September. Ahead of this major development, U.S. Senator Cory Booker recently came to the campus of Sussex County Community College for a round table discussion with veterans from Sussex and Warren regarding issues that are important to them.
The significance of the opening of the CBOC is major for area veterans. Instead of traveling to the Veterans Hospital in East Orange, veterans can now drive a short distance for basic healthcare needs, right here in Sussex. The Newton clinic will make life a lot easier for our veterans, including many who attend veteran-friendly SCCC.
To help promote the new clinic, and his concern for veterans in general, Booker came to the SCCC campus on August 3 with several officials from the Department of Veterans Affairs, Washington, DC., who offered insight into federal programs. Also on hand were Congressmen Rodney Frelinghuysen and Scott Garrett. But the real stars of the day were the veterans representing various wars and backgrounds, both male and female.
Veteran organizations from both Sussex and Warren County were invited to attend as they are a big part of the coalition that helped bring the VA medical clinic to Newton.
“We are unified today in a very important issue,” Booker, a longtime supporter of veterans issues, stated at the outset. “It is something that I am totally committed to. We must keep veterans issues at the forefront.”
He added, “You know the issues better than anybody. You know the struggles friends are going through. There is a sense of urgency in New Jersey. We have veterans who are homeless, we have suicide after suicide, and we have veterans ready and willing to work but can’t find jobs. We need to be thanking our veterans and helping them.”
Several veterans took part in the round table discussions, with questions from the audience afterwards. Among the topics that were brought up were a lack of sufficient VA officers to handle large caseloads, limited health services for women, long wait lists for certain services, and general funding issues.