FAIRBANKS, Alaska - The United States' Department of Veterans Affairs is working to improve conditions for retired service members, and that includes those in Alaska.
Julia Laude takes a look at what's being done.
David Shulkin; United States Secretary of Veterans Affairs>>"Our veterans deserve better. And we just have to make the decisions to fix the system."
With his recent confirmation by the Senate in February, United States Secretary of Veterans Affairs, David Shulkin has continued to work to improve VA services, and the department says Alaska residents will soon see its impact.
President Donald J. Trump>>"Secretary Shulkin is here, you have done an incredible job."
Alaska Veterans Health Care System Director, Doctor Timothy Ballard recently met with staff at the Kenai VA clinic to speak with veterans.
He said the Trump administration has increased the Veterans Affairs budget by about 6 percent, providing Alaska with the funds to hire more workers, which would expand its staff from about 550 employees to 650.
Department officials say that means veterans can look forward to an increase in appointments and less wait time.
David Shulkin; United States Secretary of Veterans Affairs>>"Well, first of all, we've increased the number of appointments that we see in the VA by several million appointments since 2014. So what you're seeing is a system that's experiencing tremendous demand for its services...."
This is Julia Laude reporting.