Al Lawson Wants a VA Hospital in Jacksonville

With Veterans Day coming up on Monday, U.S. Rep. Al Lawson, D-Fla., has brought back his proposal to have a VA hospital in Jacksonville.

The congressman showcased his proposal on Friday, noting that veterans in Jacksonville have to travel more than 60 miles to Gainesville and Lake City where the nearest VA hospitals are.

“Jacksonville has one of the highest veteran populations in the nation and the highest concentration of veterans in the state of Florida,” Lawson said. “Establishing a VA hospital in Jacksonville is necessary to provide our service members with the critical care they need. Our brave men and women who have fought for our freedom deserve to be taken care of in their own community when they return home.”

Now in his second term in Congress, Lawson has increasingly focused on veterans issues including his “Veterans Jobs Opportunity Act” offering tax credits to veterans who launch small businesses in underserved communities. Lawson has also introduced the “Veterans Armed for Success Act” giving veterans more job training options.

After decades of service in the Florida Legislature and two failed bids for Congress, Lawson defeated longtime U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown, D-Fla., who was plagued with scandals and under indictment, in the Democratic primary in 2016. Last year, Lawson routed former Jacksonville Mayor Alvin Brown in the primary. The seat is generally rated safe for the Democrats. Lawson’s district stretches across North Florida from Jacksonville to Gadsden County outside of Tallahassee.

 

Reach Kevin Derby at kevin.derby@floridadaily.com.

 

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