Many believe that there is a desperate need in our community and Dick Taylor, the director of Kern County Veterans Services is one of them.
"The clinic that's there now was built many decades ago and it has run out its service life," said Taylor.
He is talking about the VA outpatient clinic located on Truxtun and Oak in Bakersfield. However, coming in the very near future there might be a new VA outpatient clinic. The process to get the new clinic started around eight years ago when the Department of Veteran Affairs acknowledged that the current facility lacked certain services.
"The building is old and there are a number of services that aren't offered there that we feel need to be offered, and we as a community and the veterans in this community certainly deserve to have a clinic that meets today's standards," said Taylor.
The lack of services causes many veterans to travel to and from L.A. to get the treatment they require. As a vet of the Marine Corp, Taylor is excited about this process. "It's good news, we're happy to see it. I'll be super happy when they unlock the doors for the first time and let our honorable veterans through the front doors. So this is certainly a good step in the process and it's a long time coming," said Taylor.
And in order to make sure the process stays on track, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy released a statement saying, "I am requiring the VA to send Congress periodic updates on the project and will continue to communicate our veteran's needs directly to VA Secretary David Shulkin."
And Taylor agrees. "This is yet another change and a positive thing that is happening under his watch," said Taylor. The new clinic would expand primary care, mental health and specialty services. Services Taylor believes our veterans need right here in Kern County.
A spot for the new clinic was picked out back in 2015 but has since been cancelled causing the need and search for a new location.