Cheyenne VA Medical Center employees and local veterans gathered outside the Cheyenne VA this morning to picket proposed privatization of VA hospitals nationwide.

In an effort to improve veterans' health services, the congressionally created Commission on Care is recommending VA hospitals be shut down and veterans get their medical care in the private sector.

"Congress dropped the ball," said Glen Chavez, President of the Cheyenne Community AIM (Appreciates Its Military) Foundation. "Back when they submitted us to the Gulf War they never contacted our VA hospitals and said get ready for an onslaught of our wounded coming back, so yeah there's backlash."

Chavez says the argument that "the VA isn't taking care of their veterans" couldn't be further from the truth.

"These guys are committed to our vets," said Chavez. "Sure it's backlogged and there are hiccups, but we can fix this."

"If you privatize this VA in years to come it will shut it down," added Chavez. "We can't loose that hospital, it means so much to this community."

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