VA medical centers facing staffing issues.

SALEM, Va. (WDBJ7) -- There are 49,000 open positions in the VA medical network.

One group gathered in front of the Salem VA Medical Center to mention the efforts people like them are doing to fill those gaps.

"We're short on doctors, nurses. We're holding an informational, and we want to get the word out to the public.", says Brad Looney who works at the Salem VA.

But people aren't just rallying together here in Salem, they are speaking out all over the country for the more than 40,000 vacancies in VA hospitals.

"If you have that many vaccines then somebody needs to look at that and say what is going on in the VA? Why do you have these vacancies?", says Alma Lee, Union President.

We reached out to the Salem VA and they sent an email that reads: "Salem VA Medical Center continues to actively recruit qualified staff to provide world-class healthcare and services to our Nation's Heroes. We currently have 1,761 employees with 22 open vacancy announcements listed on USAJobs.Gov."

But it's more than just filling those jobs, the workers' union representatives fear the privatization of veterans' health care would be compromised.

VA employees feel they are uniquely trained to handle veterans.

Lee says they believe that they understand the veterans needs, but adds that she doesn't think the private sector will do as well.

"We want the money coming back into the VA for our veterans, so we can hire more resources to give them better care.", Looney says. "they served for us; it's time for us to give back to them."

The group wants the attention of Congress, so they can help bring about change on this issue.