Locals rally as feds propose closing the Brooklyn VA

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Dozens of Brooklynites gathered at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center on the edge of Bay Ridge and Dyker Heights to demand the health care institution for Kings County veterans be saved, after the federal Department of Veterans Affairs made clear in a report that it intends to eventually close both the Brooklyn and Manhattan VA hospitals, and consolidate their services into other facilities.

Veterans, elected officials, and advocates say that the plan would needlessly make it harder for vets in the New York metropolitan area to access vital health care that the VA provides.

“I’ve been coming to this hospital since even before I got out of the Army,” said Danny Friedman, president of the Vietnam Veterans of America’s Brooklyn chapter, in a speech to rallygoers. “This thing’s gotta stand, we have to stand with it.”

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