LETTERS TO THE EDITOR - Sen. Murray our 'boots on the ground'

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Defining the difference between a politician and a public servant: One spends time on television offering platitudes and talking points, and the other does the work necessary to benefit their constituents.

Sen. Murray has been our "boots on the ground" working for the benefit of our local veterans and for this community.

The Walla Walla VA Medical Center was scheduled to close its doors in 2004 and the campus was to be abandoned. Today, we are on track for a modern facility on our campus and have upgraded and opened four remote clinic locations in Yakima, La Grande, Lewiston, Richland and one proposed in Grangeville, Idaho.

Our center currently serves over 17,000 enrolled veterans (up from 13,000 in 2005) and provides 400 full-time (up from 351 in 2005), living wage jobs in the valley and surrounding areas.

Through our long, seven-year struggle to retain our veterans health-care facility, Sen. Murray carried our fight to Congress, the secretaries of Veterans Affairs, and the administrations, without regard to party affiliation.

Consequently, even if we didn't support veterans health care for generations of war veterans, and we were all about the economy, wouldn't we support the local economy by fighting to retain Walla Walla County's 11th largest employer? Sen. Patty Murray has worked tirelessly in support of both our veterans and our community.

So, we have to ask, do we want a public servant looking out for her constituents, or do we want a politician looking out for what's best for his party. We have a definitive choice between the candidates for U.S. Senate.

Sen. Murray has earned our support, and she will continue to provide the support Washington state deserves.

Virgene M. Cox
Walla Walla

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