Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) -- As the federal government works to complete an audit of VA hospitals across the country amid concerns of long wait times for services, local leaders are working to connect veterans with services in the community.
Hundreds of valley veterans gathered together with their families at Craig Ranch Park to celebrate Armed Forces Day.
"We wanted to go ahead and encompass not only the active, but the veterans and their families," event organizer Richard Cherchio said.
The event was about more than just a party, it was a way to connect the veterans with needed services in the community.
"We have booths here that tell them how they can be involved in the community, how they can get resources from the city and the federal government," Mayor John Lee said.
One of the most high profile needs may be medical services, as the VA hospital is under the congressional scrutiny over problems with inadequate waiting rooms at the North Las Vegas facility.
Those problems have created long delays for some veterans seeking treatment.
Richard Cherchio said that is one of the areas he is hoping to address as part of the governor's veterans service commission.
"I watched it being built, and now some of the things I'm hearing concern me. Again that will be my opportunity to look into that and make my recommendations," Cherchio said.
North Las Vegas Mayor John Lee said even as he and other lawmakers await the results of an audit of VA hospitals nationwide, there are already plans in the works to help ease some of the problems here in Southern Nevada.
"We have a bill in Congress right now that is going to help us acquire more land around that facility so we can build more facilities out there to augment some of the needs they have," Lee said.
While the VA hospital problems are at the top of his list of concerns.
Cherchio said he is also concerned with housing needs and other problems facing veterans throughout the state.