Expand the VA Medical Center in Hot Springs, South Dakota
  • Petitioned US Department of Veterans Affairs

This petition was delivered to:

US Department of Veterans Affairs

Expand the VA Medical Center in Hot Springs, South Dakota

    1. Justin Gausman
    2. Petition by

      Justin Gausman

      Hot Springs, SD

The VA Medical Center & Domiciliary in Hot Springs, South Dakota has served veterans for over 105 years, making it one of the longest active veteran hospitals in the nation. The Department of Veterans Affairs has proposed a closure of this facility after a decade of slowly eliminating services offered.

The closure of this VA would affect thousands of veterans regionally & nationally, as Hot Springs' Domiciliary, located in the quiet, peaceful Black Hills of South Dakota, is one of the most effective & safe treatment facilities for PTSD, alcohol and substance abuse. With more soldiers returning home from Iraq & Afghanistan with high rates of PTSD, as well as a focus nationally on ending veteran homelessness, which unfortunately often coincides with the former, it makes no sense to close a facility that is capable and willing to expand care & treatment, opening the doors for veterans from all across America.

The Department of Veterans Affairs has not supplied sufficient justification for their proposal; their rebuttals to inquiries by South Dakota's Congressional Delegation admitted that the information necessary to meaningfully make such an impactful decision was either not available or does not exist. Its financial analysis of its proposal was conducted under dubious circumstances wherein the firm completing the analysis never set foot on the VA's grounds to make an objective analysis, but instead worked strictly from figures provided by the VA, and the VA has not publicly released the full and complete financial analysis but instead a misleading summary of the fuller analysis. This is not acceptable in a government agency that has been paid for in blood by the men and women it is sworn to protect and serve.

Hot Springs is also the home of the South Dakota State Veterans Home and is known as "The Veterans Town," meaning that veterans are respected, honored, and cared for here more passionately and thoroughly than in any large urban area, which often has many more temptations and possibilities for relapse. Hot Springs's VA has been recognized for its significance as a National Historic Landmark by the Department of the Interior and as a National Treasure by the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

Veterans fought for our rights & our freedom; those who are disabled mentally or physically due to their service have paid a premium for the highest quality healthcare that our country can provide them - not contracting their care to city & county hospitals where they are treated as second-class patients.

We, the undersigned, are officially petitioning the Department of Veterans Affairs to not only to retract their proposal to close the VA Medical Center in Hot Springs, South Dakota, but to also expand services provided to the level they were provided at its peak so that it will be ready for War on Terror Veterans returning home.

Recent signatures

    News

    1. Petition has been submitted to the VA!

      Justin Gausman
      Petition Organizer

      Hey everyone, just an quick update - the change.org petition was submitted online to the Department of Veterans Affairs just before their feedback deadline of June 30.

      We had signatures from 47 of 50 states, Washington, D.C., several APO/active duty military addresses, and some signatures from as far away as the United Kingdom and Spain in support of the VA in Hot Springs.

      I have been busy updating theveteranstown.com website and working on a project very near and dear to my heart. I am producing a documentary about Save the VA & am currently raising funds to help produce this feature film. You can help contribute to the effort at indiegogo.com/theveteranstown. Thank you everyone for your signatures in support of our VA and please continue to share our plight with everyone you know, especially veterans & active duty servicemen & women.

      -Justin

    2. Reached 1,000 signatures
    3. Less than 110 away from goal!

      Justin Gausman
      Petition Organizer

      The end date for the petition is now June 29th so the petition can be submitted to the VA before the end date of submission of feedback! Please continue to share heavily this week! We are SO close to meeting our goal! To encourage you, I'm including the music video shot for Save the VA celebrating veterans and uniting for a single cause!

    4. Reached 750 signatures

    Supporters

    Reasons for signing

    • Larry Rose VAN NUYS, CA
      • about 2 years ago

      I was born in Hot Springs, SD. I know the VA facility and the State Veterans Home and agree that it would be a waste of valuable resources and a disservice to all veterans if the Medical Center were to be closed.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Robert Rose MENDENHALL, MS
      • about 2 years ago

      Former resident and I know keeping the VA is important to it's future.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
      • about 2 years ago

      Many of my family members have received services at this facilty and praise how good the services provided are.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Adam Ladwig DEVILS LAKE, ND
      • about 2 years ago

      About a year and a half ago, I hit a deer near Hot Springs and wrecked my car. I was 140 miles from home. A couple pulled to the side of the road and offered to let me stay with them for the night. It was one of the kindest things anyone ever did for me. They gave me a place to sleep, a place to shower, a good meal, and drove me to the mechanic the next day to get my car repaired. The husband had been laid off from his job about a year before, but the wife worked at the VA clinic. I would have to see her lose her job, and her family's only source of income.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Marcia Townsend ELLSWORTH, NE
      • about 2 years ago

      this is such a needed place for our Veterans!

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:

    Develop your own tools to win.

    Use the Change.org API to develop your own organizing tools. Find out how to get started.