VA secretary back home in Fayetteville, tours areas affected by Florence

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It’s typically pretty stressful when the big boss comes to visit but during VA Secretary Robert Wilkie’s visit; it was all smiles.

The Fayetteville native returned home Monday to check in on health-care centers and hospitals affected by Hurricane Florence.

“We had 17,000 appointments canceled by the storm; half of them have been rescheduled,” Wilkie said.

That was nothing compared to the damage done to the Wilmington locations, which are barely holding on

“The clinic is partially open. the cemetery is closed, as is the cemetery in New Bern,” Wilkie said. “We will be taking a look at the state of our clinic in Wilmington. Right now, we have four mobile medical units on the ground so our veterans are getting their service.”

That’s where the Fayetteville location comes into play, acting as an emergency response center for the hardest-hit areas.

“Not only were we ahead of the storm in making sure that our most vulnerable patients were taken care of, we’ve been on the front line in following up to make sure that they’re all right,” Wilkie said.

Fayetteville was the first stop on Wilkie’s schedule. He also toured the VA in Wilmington.

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