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      Veteran TMs clinic dedication ceremony held in Harlingen

      Texas Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson said bad news usually makes headlines, but on Friday he said the headline should be the good news that a 120,000 square-foot ambulatory surgery and outpatient specialty care service facility is now part of the VA Texas Valley Coastal Bend Health Care System.

      Patterson said it TMs a facility Valley veterans are entitled to.

      "An entitlement that's based on honorable service in the armed forces of this wonderful nation, Patterson said. That is an entitlement that no one has to back-up, no one has to be ashamed about, nobody has to worry about it whether they earned it- because you (veterans) earned it - you worked for it, you deserve it and you're getting it today.

      The new facility features six surgical suites, colonoscopy and cystoscopy suites, medicine and surgery specialty outpatient clinics, prosthetics care, an amputee clinic and a substance abuse treatment clinic, and a large parking garage.

      Congressman Henry Cuellar said the new addition to the Harlingen VA Outpatient Clinic, which already offers various services from physical therapy to x-rays, could lead to even bigger and better things.

      "The hospital is our dream and there's different ways to accomplish this, Cuellar said. What's the fastest most economic most efficient way to have a full service hospital? You get this beautiful facility, you add more services, you add the emergency room, which will be more cost effective, and after we do this we will have a hospital for our veterans here in South Texas."

      Even veterans who will have to travel here from outside the Valley said they are excited about the new South Texas facility since they will now only have to make the trip to San Antonio for major surgical procedures.

      "It's a state of the art clinic, Commander of VFW 2397 Corpus Christi Juan Saenz said. It's got a lot (like) - well the facility they have in Audie Murphy (Veteran TMs Hospital in San Antonio) but of course these are brand new.