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VA motel policy changed for Albuquerque visits

It appears that the Albuquerque VA Medical Center has cut back on providing motel rooms to veterans traveling to their facility.

I recently received word from Albuquerque VAMC Accommodations that they are now only providing rooms in their “Hall Of Heroes” (roomettes) or a bed in the hospital, at no charge of course.

If these accommodations are OK with you when traveling to a VAHC appointment at Albuquerque. VAMC, then I would continue sending in an “accommodation request” for one of their beds. If you are traveling with a caregiver, that could be a consideration also.

I have heard some mixed stories about the “Hall Of Heroes” quality. I think each person should judge for themselves.

If the accommodations they provide aren’t satisfactory, you can still show your VA appointment card and get a motel discount at any of the usual motels on Gibson Boulevard.

If you receive travel pay from the Albuquerque VAMC, currently at $177 for gas money, this also will more than cover your motel expense. If you do not get travel money from the VA then come and see me and I will reimburse you, as always.

I know it is a little premature, but we are hoping to add to our Colorado Veterans Trust Fund Grant money for next year to provide emergency funds for Archuleta County veterans who may be having a hard time. This would be handled on a case-by-case basis, for such things as gas or travel money, rent, utilities, food, etc. This assistance would be in addition to the VA Health Care travel assistance we already provide.

Durango VA Clinic

The Durango VA Clinic is now able to draw blood five days a week, throughout the day. Previously they could only draw blood in the mornings Monday through Thursday. If you need a blood draw to check for cholesterol, etc. you will need to fast, so a morning appointment might still be the best option.

Durango VA Clinic has really done a tremendous job in improving their facilities, staff and services this past year and I would like to encourage you to let them know you appreciate all their efforts on our behalf.

DAV vans

The Disabled American Veterans (DAV) organization is running a VAHC van from Durango on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Call Mike Dunaway, 247-2198, and from the Farmington area on Mondays and Wednesdays, call Harriet Mulnix, (505) 793-1782.

Durango VA Clinic

The Durango VA Outpatient Clinic is located at 1970 E. 3rd Ave. Durango, CO 81301 (the old Mercy Medical Center). Phone number is 247-2214.

Further information

For information on these and other veterans’ benefits, please call or stop by the Archuleta County Veterans Service Office located at the Senior Center in the Pagosa Springs Community Center on Hot Springs Blvd. The office number is 264-4013, the fax number is 264-4014, cell number is 946-6648, and e-mail is afautheree@archuletacounty.org. The office is open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday. Bring your DD Form 214 (Discharge) for application for VA programs, and for filing in the VSO office.