August 23, 2010
Mr. Eric K. Shinseki
Secretary of Veterans Affairs
810 Vermont Avenue
Washington, D. C. 20420
RE: St. Albans VA Facility, Queens, NY
Dear Secretary Shinseki:
I hope this letter finds you well. I am writing to you today on behalf of the many veterans living in Queens and Nassau Counties of New York State. As a member of the New York State Senate Veterans Committee and personally representing thousands of veterans in my district, I am deeply concerned with your recent decision to select a developer and to move forward with the Enhanced Use Lease process at the St. Albans VA Facility. This CARES/EUL program adopted by the VA is taking a toll on our veterans and our communities as well.
Queens and Nassau counties have over 200,000 veterans in residence. It seems unfair that they should have to travel to Brooklyn or Northport, LI, for medical attention. The community of St. Albans, as well as the veterans, support and deserve a full-service hospital with an emergency room; primary and extended care for female veterans; a comprehensive treatment facility with a domiciliary; and veterans' transitional housing.
I believe we owe this not only to our veterans from prior wars, but also to the many young men and women who are returning from Iraq and Afghanistan with serious injuries. We owe them much more than just a “ thank you”. They have earned the right to have the best medical facility within a reasonable distance from their homes.
Thank you for your time and consideration of this request. Once again, I respectfully request the VA to stop the Enhanced Use Lease process.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me at my office.
Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr.
State Senator – 15th District