Fix for veterans forced to wait in heat, stand at SA VA clinic

VA claims it couldn't bring in permanent seating until lease was updated

SAN ANTONIO – The South Texas Veterans Health Care System added chairs inside the lobby of a VA clinic, a day after an investigation from The Defenders revealed military veterans were sitting outside or standing for long periods of time while waiting for appointments.

The move by the VA came hours after a San Antonio businessman set up folding chairs for the veterans. The good Samaritan, who declined a request for an interview, was one of several people who offered to bring chairs to the facility after the story aired Wednesday night.

The South Texas VA, while acknowledging the lack of seating accommodations inside the clinic at 8410 Datapoint Drive, said it could not bring in seats until the lease for the facility was updated to include the front lobby.

For more than a week, KSAT 12 cameras captured footage of military veterans and their loved ones sitting on stone walls as they waited for ear, eye and dental appointments.

Pictures obtained by KSAT 12 showed a long line of vets standing or leaning on walls inside the front doors of the Northwest Side facility.

"Many of the vets have problems, physical problem. Even me, I'm physically good, but it would be nice to have a place to sit down," veteran Bob Lundgren said.

Building managers did not return multiple calls for comment from The Defenders Thursday.