Brian Kelly (@Brpkelly)

ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – More local veterans are satisfied with the service they’re receiving from the area’s Veterans Affairs facilities.

That’s according to the latest survey conducted by U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill of Missouri.

Standing in front of the Korean War Memorial in Forest Park, McCaskill said a record of nearly 500 veterans responded to her survey, and gave the VA better ratings in all 10 categories.

“I am confident that the service the veterans are receiving at (John) Cochran and Jefferson Barracks is better today than when we started these surveys back in 2011,” McCaskill said.

Read the entire report here

Her survey found an 11 percent increase over last year in the number of veterans satisfied with wait times, and the respect they are shown. Nearly 8 percent more were impressed with their overall experience.

McCaskill said the fact the reviews come from veterans themselves, give them more credence.

“Instead of this being somebody from VA looking over their shoulder for an inspection, this is every day there could be a veteran who’s going to fill out one of these surveys that’s going to give us specific information about problems they have. I think that has helped the VA work harder.”

American Legion Deputy Commander Betty Gonzalez says she hears about the improvements from the veterans she talks with.

“Before it was always so much grumbling. Now, they’re actually getting appointments. They’re making less trips to the VA,” she says.

Gonzalez credits the appointment of a permanent director at John Cochran, as well as the establishment of satellite clinics that allow veterans to get help without going to Jefferson Barracks or John Cochran.

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