Correction 1/26/18: Changed the name from Loven to Loren.
Members of the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs stopped by the Arkansas State University Jonesboro campus Tuesday for a special tour and presentation.
Assistant Secretary of Operations, Security, and Preparedness for Veteran Affairs Donald Loren stopped by A-State to tour the Beck PRIDE Center for wounded veterans. He met with some of the students utilizing the service and the director of the center, Lynda Nash.
Nash said this is a chance to show Washington how unique the program is when dealing with the health needs of rural wounded veterans.
“We were the first of this kind in the country to have a non-profit developed to serve veterans who did not have to be a student on a university campus," Nash said. "This is for any veteran in the area.”
The center offers rehabilitative and educational services for veterans in Northeast Arkansas, West Tennessee, and the Missouri Bootheel.
Josh Wilcoxson is a sophomore at A-State who does work-study for the center. He’s also a Marine veteran. Wilcoxson said that he was looking forward to meeting with Loren to share with him some of the experiences he’s had with the VA. He said, even though he’s had some bad experiences, it’s important that Loren also hears about some of the good the VA has done.
“I’ve had some good medical care from the VA and I’ve had different doctors who’ve been good to me, so I’d like to let him know about that," said Wilcoxson. "Not every doctor in the VA is bad. You hear it on the news. You hear different people saying that, but it’s not really true.”
Loren was unavailable to the press for comment on his tour.
Editor's Note: Arkansas State University is the license holder for KASU.