VA office shutters for government shutdown

Beginning today, the Veterans Affairs office will be closed, and vocational rehabilitation counselors on Maui and Hilo will be on furlough until further notice because of the ongoing partial federal government shutdown, according to an announcement from the VA Pacific Islands Health Care System.

Benefits offices also will be closed at Tripler Army Medical Center on Oahu and on Guam.

Paul Laub, president of the Maui County Veterans Council, said Monday afternoon that it’s “intolerable” for the federal government not to provide promised services to veterans.

An estimated 11,000 veterans live in Maui County, and many of those are combat veterans who “literally put their bodies and lives on the line” in service of the country, he said.

“The government is not living up to the responsibilities that it has to the veterans,” Laub said. “It needs to live up to its responsibilities. There’s a lot of excuses, but excuses don’t count.”

The announcement noted that medical care and counseling services continue to be available from the community-based and ambulatory care clinics as well as at vet centers.

Updated information can be found at

* Veterans office closures. Veterans Benefits Administration offices have been closed as part of the federal government shutdown, but medical care at Veterans Affairs clinics and counseling services at veterans centers are continuing for veterans.

A story published on Page A4 on Tuesday misidentified the offices to be closed.

The Maui News apologizes for the error.