New highway signs installed to help veterans locate BurlCo VA clinic

Since relocating to Evesham Township, veterans said the Corporal Michael J. Crescenz VA Medical Center was notoriously difficult to find, even when using a GPS.

Special to The Sun: Deputy Director Tom Pullion stands next to the new highway sign on Greentree Road with Evesham Township Deputy Mayor Heather Cooper (center) and Evesham Township Councilwoman Patricia Hansen (right).

In 2016, when the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs relocated Burlington County’s only VA outpatient clinic off Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst to a new location in Evesham, many veterans applauded moving the Corporal Michael J. Crescenz VA Medical Center to the larger, more modern facility.

There was just one rub: Veterans had difficulty finding it.

While the clinic’s previous location on the sprawling military installation became more difficult for veterans to access after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, the new site off Route 73 and Lincoln Drive was notoriously hard to locate.

“It’s tucked away in an indistinguishable office complex. For veterans driving there, it can be really difficult to find, even with GPS,” said Evesham Deputy Mayor Heather Cooper. “We heard from a lot of veterans about the issue. We knew we had to do something to try to address the problem and eventually turned to the freeholders to see if they could help.”

Cooper and Evesham Mayor Jaclyn Veasy spoke to Burlington County Board Director Felicia Hopson and Deputy Director Tom Pullion about the issue; the two county leaders brought the matter to County Engineer Joseph Brickley, who arranged for the Public Works Department to create two new “way-finding” signs alerting motorists on Greentree Road and Lincoln Drive of the Clinic’s location nearby.

The new signs are larger and were installed in more conspicuous locations than previous signs.

While the county is unable to respond to every request it receives for highway signs, Hopson said the situation with the VA clinic was one she felt confident the county and its workers could help address.

“More than 5,200 veterans receive care at the clinic; helping them to safely locate it is the least we can do for the men and women who defended and sacrificed for all of us,” said Hopson, who serves as the county directors’ liaison for Veterans Affairs.

“We owe our veterans a debt that can never be fully repaid. We must always do what we can to ensure they are properly cared for,” Pullion added. “We’re grateful that Evesham’s mayor and council brought it to our attention and that we were able to help. This is another example of all levels of government working together in Burlington County to help one another and our residents, especially our veterans.”

The blue signs directing people to the Corporal Michael J. Crescenz VA Medical Center were installed this summer. Evesham officials reported that they’ve been a big help for local veterans.

“It’s a real improvement. Now at least when you come down Greentree Road you know where to turn,” said Veasy. “We can’t thank the freeholders enough for responding the way they did. Caring for veterans is so important and its gratifying to see things like this come about to help them.”

For more information about the Corporal Michael J. Crescenz VA Medical Center, visit philadelphia.va.gov/locations/Burlington_County_VA_Clinic.asp or call (844) 441-5499.