WAPPINGERS FALLS, NY - In March local veterans, state, county and local officials sounded the alarm of a proposal by the federal government to close down the Castle Point VA located in Dutchess County. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs’ Asset and Infrastructure Review report called for services to be transitioned to outpatient and urget care settings. Earlier this week the U.S. Senate's Veterans' Affairs Committee announced its opposition to the AIR report and refused to proceed with additional nominees to the commission, making it unlikely the VA's process would proceed before the statutory deadline of March 30, 2023.
Yorktown Supervisor Matt Slater, candidate for the 94th Assembly District, applauded the Committee's opposition. "Any reduction in services for our local veterans would be an insult to the brave men and women who defended our freedoms. We pledged to our veterans that we would fight for them after all they have done for us and we will continue to uphold that commitment."
Assemblyman Kevin Byrne said, "We are glad our partners on the federal level heard our concerns and acted appropriatley to protect our veterans from losing important services owed to them from a grateful nation. A special thank you to all of our veterans who joined us this spring to shine a light on this very important issue."
On March 22, 2022 the Yorktown Town Board passed a resolution which was sent to New York's federal delegation in opposition to the proposed closure. The resolution passed unanimously.
“When good people work together, bad decisions can be overturned, and that’s what’s thankfully happening with Castle Point,” Assemblyman Mike Lawler said. “Our brave veterans deserve the best care in the world; closing this facility would have been a travesty. I am proud to be part of the coalition that elicited rare common sense from Washington in this case.”
Karl Rhode, Director of the Putnam County Veterans Service Agency stated, "It is a good thing that the Senate Veterans Committed has called a halt to the closing of Castle Point. While in the AIR report they claimed to have spoken to Veterans as stake holders they never did. This closing ran counter to the wishes of Veterans."
Alex Mandara, Commander of VFW Post 8328 in Yorktown added, "This is an important announcement for our veterans who were willing to make the ultimate sacrifice in the name of freedom. Thank you to the Yorktown Town Board for being champions for veterans on this issue."
Andres Gil, Commander of VFW Post 672 in Brewster said, "The Castle Point VA provides a high level of care and easy access for local veterans. Thank you to our elected officials who stood up for our veterans and ensured the services we rely on are protected."