That's the requirement of the federal government right now.
Those in need of medical assistance who cannot be helped at the veterans outpatient clinic in Glynn County are referred to specialists miles away, to health care professionals approved by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
That's a needless strain, a tremendous one, on any individual requiring medical attention, and a needless cost to boot. It is when Southeast Georgia Health System offers the finest hospital in the region just minutes away from the clinic in Brunswick.
Woody Woodside, president of the chamber of commerce, said earlier this week that he and other chamber and community leaders planned to ask that very question to Georgia's congressional delegation.
It was to be among a number of issues they were to discuss with Rep. Kingston and Sens. Saxby Chambliss and Johnny Isakson during their annual Washington Fly-in.
A spokesman for Rep. Kingston says it's a request that is already on the radar of the 1st District congressman. Chris Crawford said his boss, a member of the House Appropriations Committee, will ask for a pilot program this year.
The shame of it is, what's there to think about? Why shouldn't the men and women who served their country be accorded a convenience that's available to everyone else? It wouldn't make sense for them to turn it down, especially if it will save the department funds.
This is one time Congress should expedite cutting through federal red tape. Our veterans are not getting any younger. Many could use this convenience now.