Retirees Salute BRAC's Decision On Keesler - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

08/25/05

Retirees Salute BRAC's Decision On Keesler

From heart attacks to hernias, the Keesler Medical Center has always been available to treat military retirees. Joe Peters and Lonnie Arnold are part of the Keesler retiree activities program that represents members in South Louisiana, South Mississippi, and South Alabama.

"Many of these people use the Keesler medical facilities for the health care," Arnold said.

"All my medical procedures have been done at Keesler. I have prostate cancer that was done there, hernia operations, everything has been done at Keesler and so I started getting concerned," Peters said.

Now with BRAC's decision to spare Keesler from its hit list, retirees are glad their services won't change.

"I was worried. I was really worried and both my wife and I, not too good of medical shape right now. We're kinda in a bad way and I was glad to hear it was going to stay open," Gerard Saucier said. "They take care of me, let's put it that way. I get good service there and I like it."

Congressman Gene Taylor said he thinks miscommunications to BRAC played in Keesler's favor.

"Finally, they pointed out that most of the hospitals here, or many of the hospitals here, don't take Tri-care, which is the military health care system. So all the things that we pointed out during our testimony before the commission and that the group pointed out, thank goodness the commissioners were listening," he said.

byMarcia Hill

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