Pictured are Optimist President Jay Downs, Smith, and speaker host Larry Blosser.

St. Andrews Optimists recently heard a report from William Smith, Sen. Lindsey Graham’s Director of Constituent Services for the Military.

Smith focused most of his talk on Veterans Administration matters, particularly current events at the Dorn VA Center. Plans are underway for expansions at Dorn which include a $17 million facility for a Women’s VA Center, a 16,500 square foot Prosthetic Center, and expansion of parking capacity. In its current situation, daily parking overflows paved parking onto grassy areas almost every day. So on the drawing board are both additional paving of ground level parking, as well as one 190-space parking garage with another to follow.

Two more initiatives Smith highlighted are first, the ability of the VA to refer patients to non-VA hospitals to shorten treatment timelines; and second, an overhaul of VA internal systems to streamline the whole patient treatment process.

It was pointed out that Ft. Jackson is now the Army’s largest basic training location; that McEntire is the Air Force’s rapid reaction base for the East Coast; and that Third Army Headquarters are actually located on the property at Shaw Air Force Base.

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