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REDMOND, OR -- The head of Oregon's Department of Veterans Affairs will visit with local vets Friday in Redmond, to hear about issues they face. 


Redmond VFW Commander Judith Burger expects Director Cameron Smith will hear a lot about healthcare. "I think we're going to be talking about the Veterans Care Initiative, the card that has come out that's supposed to allow us get medical care outside of the VA under certain conditions, and how that's working or not working."


Burger also told KBND she'd like to discuss the recent appointment of an LGBT coordinator for the VA. She doesn't think the position is necessary. "I should be able to walk into any Veterans Service office and know that my unique needs are going to be represented by whoever it is that helps me. I shouldn't have to go to 'this person does women veterans only.' Every veteran of every generation has unique needs."


Before he was appointed to the post by Governor John Kitzhaber in 2013, Smith served as a Marine in three tours of duty in Iraq. 


Friday's meeting in Redmond is from 10 a.m. until noon, at the VFW on Veterans Way.



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