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      Compromise to bring more healthcare for Valley vets

      U.S. Congressman Henry Cuellar said a compromise will bring more health care options for vets.

      The Rio Grande Valley's 100,000 veterans have been fighting for local health care for years.

      But now, U.S. Congressman Henry Cuellar said a compromise is it TMs on it way. "This will certainly help us provide more services and more money for the Valley," he said.

      Starting early next year, the Valley and other South Texas cities will split off from San Antonio TMs Veteran TMs Health Care System.

      The split means the Valley's veteran healthcare will have a separate budget.

      "We TMre going to make our own decisions," said Veteran Commander Jose Vasquez.

      Decisions like the ability to upgrade veteran TMs facilities. "We TMre going to be expanding the McAllen clinic more," Vasquez said.

      The split allows for the construction of a 120,000-square foot surgery and specialty center in Harlingen that should break ground early next year.

      "Seventy-five to 80 percent maybe even more of all the trips that veterans have to do to go up to san Antonio, four or five hours will be eliminated," Congressman Cuellar said.

      The VA will also have contracts with local hospitals in Cameron and Hidalgo County for veterans to receive emergency and inpatient care in the Valley. It TMs not exactly what these vets are asking for but Commander Vasquez tells us he's grateful for the plan, but it TMs not enough and veterans will continue to fight for more.

      "We TMre still going for the hospital", Vasquez said.