It may have been a long shot, but Dale Dirks believes it was one worth taking.
The Kelowna man was among those who met Thursday with Conservative MP Ron Cannan to argue for the local Veterans Affairs office to remain open rather than be shuttered in February.
"I honestly don't think Ron will have any impact in keeping these places open, but I hope I'm wrong," Dirks, 74, said after the meeting. "At least he listened to us make our case."
Ten federal employees will lose their jobs, and more than 2,200 veterans whose files are currently handled in the Kelowna office will have to access programs and services online, via the telephone or drive to Penticton if the local office closes as planned.
Bob Jackson, a spokesman for the union that represents the workers, says it was a "decent" meeting with Cannan.
"We tried to give him a better understanding of how veterans will really be affected by this closure," said Jackson, a vice-president of the Public Service Alliance of Canada.
Many veterans could lose access to programs and benefits to which they are entitled if they aren't able to talk to a Veterans Affairs Canada employee face to face, Jackson said.
The government has defended the planned office closures, to take place in several cities, as a necessary cost-cutting move. Despite protests, there has been no sign of the government backing down on the issue.
"We don't need to have bricks-and-mortar all over the place to deliver services," Cannan said earlier this year.
Jackson acknowledges that, as a backbench MP, Cannan is not the one making decisions on this file.
"We don't expect Mr. Cannan will be able to walk into the Prime Minister's Office and have all these offices remain open. But he does have the responsibility to at least communicate our concerns to the minister, and he's agreed to do that," Jackson said.
"Our concern isn't just about the number of people who will lose their job," Jackson said. "It's about ensuring our veterans can get the help and services they need, and I don't think closing an office is going to accomplish that in any way, shape or form."
One Service Canada employee will still be available to handle veterans-related issues at the federal building in Kelowna. But Dirks, who was in the military for 34 years, says that's not nearly enough local support.
"The bottom line is we'll be going from 10 people down to one," Dirks said. "That's not good enough."