VA Clinic honors WWII veterans
By ALEX MCRAE
World War II veterans were special guests of honor Friday at a reception held at the Newnan Veterans Administration Clinic off Highway 34 East.
Clinic administrator Kenneth Friday said such events are held monthly for different groups, but the clinic nurses thought World War II vets would be the ideal guests for an event held the same week as Independence Day.
Vets, their friends and family members packed the clinic’s reception area for the event, which ran from 1 to 3 p.m. Newnan High School history teacher Frank Henderson, who teaches a class on World War II and has hosted many of the veterans in his classes, was the guest speaker.
Henderson explained that his classes covered more than just “blowing things up” when studying World War II, saying they also focus on the day-to-day life of the soldiers at home and abroad and how the war affected everyone in America.
He said his students are always impressed by the stories of sacrifice and courage they hear from the vets.
Henderson said when one of his students asks if he or she can do more with his life, or if they are giving enough effort in school, he tells them, “Remember what these World War II vets went through and then ask yourself again.”
After Henderson spoke, guests enjoyed light refreshments and visited with each other and clinic staffers.
The 10,000-square-foot facility at 39-A Oak Hill Court near Highway 34 East and Sullivan Road opened its doors in the fall of 2009. The facility opened with one full-time doctor and several nurses and originally provided primary care health services, nutrition counseling and social services.
There are now two doctors on staff full-time and, recently, a full-time psychiatrist and full-time psychologist were added to help vets deal with mental health issues, including depression and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
“Those are the two biggest problems we see in that area,” Friday said. “We are fortunate to have additional staff to help our veterans deal with those issues.”
A physician’s assistant and nurse practitioner have also been added to the staff.
“The clinic has been very well received by the community and the veterans we serve,” Friday said. “We are all so glad to have this facility here for our veterans.”