Herb Schaunaman served from from 1973 to 1997 in the U.S. Air Force. He visits the current clinic for physicals and eye exams. He knows that other clinics across the country have had their problems handling veterans’ issues, but he doesn’t see that in Aberdeen, calling himself and his fellow vets fortunate.
“There’s a bunch of us that are real happy with the clinic,” Schaunaman said. “I can’t even think of an example where I’ve had a problem. The people have been super. I feel very comfortable there in person.”
He said there have been days he’s gone in and the waiting room has been nearly full, but he estimates he’s never waited longer than 15 minutes [Kelda J.L. Pharris, “New VA Clinic for Aberdeen in Preliminary Stages,” Aberdeen American News, 2017.09.09].
According to Pharris’s report, the Aberdeen VA clinic has seen a marked increase in patients in recent years. Visits increased from 2,190 in 2010 to 2,574 last year and this year have already reached 2,583.
Schaunaman is one of 2,679 veterans in Brown County who can get super, low-wait health care from Uncle Sam at the Aberdeen VA outpatient clinic. The clinic serves Brown and five other South Dakota counties with a veteran population of 4,516, plus probably a few hundred more in Dickey County across the border.