Congressman Kim Announces Veteran Stories Series to Highlight Urgent Need for New Veterans’ Health Facility

June 12, 2020
Press Release

Congressman Kim Announces Veteran Stories Series
to Highlight Urgent Need for New Veterans’ Health Facility

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congressman Andy Kim (NJ-03) announced that following the failure of the Department of Veterans Affairs to deliver a new veteran’s health facility promised to Ocean County’s veterans, his office will be launching a new series to highlight the stories of veterans impacted by the VA’s failure. Veterans who wish to share their stories can reach out to Congressman’s Kim’s office by clicking here.

The first story is that of Robert Bauer, a resident of Toms River and an Air Force veteran who served in Vietnam during the Tet Offensive. Bauer, who uses the James J. Howard VA CBOC for his annual check-up, has, “had to park across the street in a wooded area” because of a lack of parking at the facility. Last year, Bauer had his annual physical delayed five months because he was told the “clinic does not have enough doctors.”

“The current CBOC is outdated and cannot accommodate all the veterans in our community that need care,” said Bauer. “They now are not only treating Korean War, Vietnam War and WWII Vets, but the younger men and women who fought in Iraq and Afghanistan. They have not kept up with the times and it’s not fair and it’s frustrating.  It would be unacceptable in civilian life to be told that you have to wait five months for an appointment because of not enough doctors, you would go somewhere else.  Why is this ok for veterans who served this country?  Not having doctors is a heck of an excuse – how do you not have enough doctors?”

“Robert’s story is one of too many veterans in Ocean County who have been let down by the VA’s failures,” said Congressman Kim. “No veteran should have to wait five months for care or park in an unsafe place in order to access their health care. The VA needs to act now to make this right for veterans like Robert.”

Last month, Congressman Kim, along with Senators Booker and Menendez sent a letter to VA officials demanding answers on why the effort to secure a new veterans’ health care facility in Ocean County have failed, and asking the VA to provide immediate solutions for New Jersey’s veterans. Nearly a month later, the letter remains unanswered.

Since coming into office, Congressman Kim has made the delivery of a new veterans CBOC a top priority. During that time, the Congressman and his office have:

  1. Followed up with VA officials on the status of the CBOC every month since being sworn in.
  2. Met with the VA’s Executive Director for the Office of Construction & Facilities Management about the CBOC.
  3. Held two veteran roundtables to highlight the importance of the new CBOC.
  4. Toured Brick CBOC twice with VA regional leadership alongside local veteran leaders. Rep. Kim spoke with veterans about their current quality of care at the existing CBOC.
  5. Led a bipartisan letter with Congressman Smith, Senators Booker and Menendez to VA leadership about the key concerns highlighted by our Ocean County veterans around the number of providers, parking space and the timeline for the new CBOC.
  6. Led a letter with Senators Booker and Menendez to VA leadership after the most recent VA failure to execute a leasing agreement for the new Ocean County CBOC
  7. Conducted monthly outreach to several hundred of veteran leaders and advocates in NJ-3 about the CBOC and other key veteran issues.

Congressman Kim is a member of the House Armed Services Committee and the House Committee on Small Business.  In addition to advocating for a new veterans health facility in Ocean County, Congressman Kim has introduced bipartisan legislation to protect veterans from VA errors and help veterans identify employment opportunities during their transition to civilian life. More information about Congressman Kim can be found on his website by clicking here.

More information about Congressman Kim can be found on his website by clicking here.