FRESNO, California - Veterans and union workers rallied outside the VA hospital today--to fight for VA employees.
Those who rallied say they're over worked .. understaffed.. and it's negatively affecting patient services.
Cars honked in support of people who were protesting for navy veterans like Humberto Gomez.
He says he's been a patient and an employee at the VA hospital
"I used to work here .. Absolutely .. They had two nurses for 15 patience in the emergency room. That's unacceptable. Even at one point they closed the ER and were transporting patience to community," said Navy vet Humberto Gomez.
The people rallying were mostly union workers, part of the American Federation of Government Employees who represents the 300 thousand VA employees nationwide. The local president says since Fresno's VA hospital is considered a small facility, it can't afford to be short one person.
"An entire department for example, pain management, may be dependent on one physician and if we're short that one physician .. Now there is no service," said union employee Jacob Dunn.
Jacob Dunn says veterans who fought to protect our country deserves better..
"We tell our nation's veterans go to war fight for our freedom. When you come back we'll take care of you. Then you come back and can't get seen or it takes nine years to process your claims," stated Dunn.
Political organizers for the union send this message to the current administration and all lawmakers.
"One vacancy in the VA is a tragedy. 49 thousand is a national disgrace. So our message is really clear--staff the VA," said political organizer Ian Hoffman.