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A Personal View From A Veteran On The VA Scandals.

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posted on May, 20 2014 @ 11:48 PM
I posted this to out TTIV Facebook page earlier but I thought the readers here would appreciate it.

As a Veteran I believe that it is time that I speak up regarding the current scandals involving the Veterans Administration (VA) in recent weeks. -Jimmy-

The truth is, is that this whole ordeal involving the level of care our veterans are receiving is completely unacceptable. No matter what your political affiliation may be this should anger all to no end. The men and women who's blood, sweat, and tears have earned our freedoms deserve the care and benefits that they have earned.

When I look across news sites all I see is articles about celebrities committing murder and other meaningless BS. This story should be headlining every news program in America. This country has lost it's way and the proof lies at your local VA medical center. This post will be lengthy and will take some time to read but I urge all who do to share this so others may read of the personal stories I will share of my experiences at the VA.

First off, I am a Marine Corps Infantryman and current disabled veteran. I joined the USMC in October of 2002 and was discharged in July of 2007 after a medical evaluation board found me unfit for further duty. I returned home to Michigan where I immediately filed claims with the VA and went back to work at my old night job as a cook.

The man who helped me file my claims with the VA was great. He was a member and representative of the Disabled American Veterans, of which I am a life member. He helped me do everything and got my claims filed quickly. This is when things began to go downhill for me.

It took the VA over a year and a half to process my claims during which I lost my job due to the 2008 financial crisis. This is when I hit my rock bottom. I was drinking heavily and going through a divorce and things got rough. I was making poor decisions and still to this day question how I made it through it all alive. It has been an uphill battle since.

My first evaluation came back and it was very low according to my DAV rep. It took another two years to get my disability rating up to 100% during which time I found seasonal work to keep the bills paid even though My body took a hard toll due to that fact. I was doing work that my doctors had claimed I should not have been doing.

When I was discharged I had a hard time re-adjusting to civilian life and gained an anxiety issue because of it. All the VA wanted to do was shove drug after drug down my throat and hope that I would go away. I tried the anti depressants and they made me feel as if I wasn't in control so I quickly stopped that. I kept asking if I could just see and talk to someone once a week and every time I poised this question I was dropped through the cracks of the system as if on purpose.

It was as if my denial to drug therapy was a reason to punish me. Two years later I finally got to get back into care and was offered group therapy but it would be a long wait to get into the groups. I did do one and it was beneficial overall but you could tell that the doctors running it had an agenda and it wasn't to help us. I did finally find a nurse practitioner that listened to me and was able to help me with my anxiety without harsh drugs and long waits for therapy. This woman is seriously the hardest working woman at my VA. I would not be surprised if she came out as a VA whistle blower in the near future because I know she is fed up with losing patients and the current status quo.

I also have a fairly serious gastrointestinal issue which has been growing since 2004. I face ugly and at time debilitating symptoms(Why I am at 100% Disability). This problem has been ongoing for almost ten years and I have no definitive answer as to what it is and how to fix it. Their best guess is that I have a foreign bacteria running rampant in my system that no anti-biotic can kill because I have literally tried them all.

All the GI doctor does is repeat cheap and meaningless tests and prescribes me new antibiotics that make me sick every 8 weeks. It is never ending and I sometimes fear I may die before I know what is truly wrong with me.

Another tactic for the VA to meet numbers that I have not seen talk about yet has happened to me a lot and is still happening quite frequently. The VA will schedule you for an appointment to meet their minimum requirements and a week or so before you will get a call from a receptionist saying the clinic will be closed the day of your appointment and they need to reschedule. It is always a two week minimum before a reschedule will happen.

I have been waiting 8 weeks now to see my GI doctor and now I have to wait 2 more due to this BS. What will it take for me to get the treatment I have earned?

Another thing that scorns me is the way I see the older Vets being treated at My VA. I see WWII, Korean, and Vietnam Veterans treated like they are garbage by many of the civilian employees and it makes my blood boil. Everywhere in the VA you will find mistreatment and abuse.

For those who think The Affordable Care Act is a good thing, all you have to do is ask a Veteran how government health care is working out for them and you will have your answer.

If you hung in and read this whole thing I deeply appreciate it. Please share it to bring light to this issue with others who may not know or care. If anyone has any questions feel free to comment and ask and I will do my best to answer.

Semper Fidelis

posted on May, 21 2014 @ 12:21 AM
a reply to: usmc0311

Medical care from the perspective of a current or former service member could barely be worse. Unfortunately, it's going to get that way for everyone under ObamaCare before the system starts to get any better at all.

All of the problems stem from acceptance rates at medical school. Annually, only 15% of people who apply are accepted. After the nepotism, after the favoritism, after the politics ... there's no telling how few Dicks or Janes get lucky enough. I know this may not be what you want to hear, but it's the foundation of medical practice ... and it's being ignored by the people who could fix it.

For things to improve on the military side of the house, the socialized aspect of health care needs to be dispensed with. The military needs to demand a financial re-look, pay their folks enough to seek out their own health care, tell them what their basic requirements are, treat them like adults (fairly), and end dependencies on agencies like the VA and activities exceeding clinic-level care. Yeah ... there may be exceptions for hospital requirements overseas, but on the whole ... no. It's honestly a waste of the taxpayer's dollar.

posted on May, 21 2014 @ 12:53 AM
I am not a doctor with a license. I have had people close to me that suffered debilitating g.i. issues. My thoughts were that the antibiotics they were taking were wrecking up their gut flora and fauna. One needs a balance of microbes to digest properly. Sorry about your situation, I hope things get better. I can relate.

posted on May, 21 2014 @ 01:23 AM
a reply to: usmc0311

I am glad that you also don't like getting drug therapy with the anti-depressants and the like. I dislike them quite a bit although I have been stuck on them for 10+ years, they do affect my ability to be in control of my life. That could be because they stop O.C.D. - which I prefer to have.

Having someone to talk to on a weekly basis sounds like it would be a lot more beneficial than drug therapy. My mom started taking anti-depressants and slept 15 of her years away on them. The she stopped taking them a year ago and is active again. They can do more harm than good. Talk therapy can do good.

You could be on an anti-depressant and feel good for 10 years, but there is a real danger that after those 10 years, you will have nothing to show for them because you have been drugged. It happened to me. Then what are you going to do? You have become more dependent on the system.

edit on 21amWed, 21 May 2014 01:26:21 -0500kbamkAmerica/Chicago by darkbake because: (no reason given)

posted on May, 21 2014 @ 01:34 AM
Somebody tell me where I can get a free FMRI and I'll show you some gulf War proof.

posted on May, 21 2014 @ 01:37 AM
Gosh, so sorry to hear such terrible news. As a Vietnam Vet, I too have my stories of VA hospital visits and treatments. But sorry to say this to you, mine have been all been very positive, with caring doctors and thoughtful staff. The doctors even go out of there way to make sure that someone in immediate need is not abandon in the waiting rooms. Yes, 7 hour waits are reality, but still you get kind, caring and sincere compassionate care from the doctors and staff. I'd be a volunteer any day in a VA hospital just to say a thank you for the best medical service in the nation. It's in the VA hospitals and I truly would have hoped the Affordable Care Act would have followed the way the VA hospital system is, the most organized and well trained staff any hospital could hope for. Its all at your nearest VA hospital.

posted on May, 21 2014 @ 02:05 AM
I was put on antidepressants for fibromyalgia pain.

Don't take antidepressants if you are not depressed.

If your serotonin levels are normal and you take antidepressants you can have real bad side effects.

In my case antidepressants did nothing for the fibromyalgia pain and caused BPH, confusion and the feeling of not being able to concentrate to then point i felt unsafe to drive.

there are so many things that can cause serious gastrointestinal issue from parasites to food and chemical intolerance's.

I became sorbitol intolerant about a year ago. i am a diabetic and have been using sugar free diabetic food for a couple years.
one if the main things they use in diabetic sugar free food is sorbitol or one of the other sugar-alcohols.(i am now intolerant to all the sugar-alcohols.)

My VA primary care NP kept trying to tell my it was gluten or lactose intolerance.
At my last appointment i got to tell my primary care NP what the real cause was. and how wrong she was.
edit on 21-5-2014 by ANNED because: (no reason given)

posted on May, 21 2014 @ 05:35 AM
a reply to: usmc0311

Sean Hannity

I suggest keeping watch of any help coming along thru Sean Hannity'd website including his "Americans back to work" link.

I heard him say basically the same issues your OP so he does understand exactly what the scam being done by VA, Obama.

This is a month old scandal so it will take time to be fully corrected. Congress will have hearings and issue a report, pass a bill to make the corrections at VA.

posted on May, 21 2014 @ 05:54 AM
a reply to: usmc0311

Thank you for your sacrifice brother!!!

I have a mild disability from my service. I was artillery, 19er8 howitzers. The concussive force of the cannon firing can't be blocked with ear plugs etc... because of the sheer power and volume of the sound, it travels through your bone structure to your inner ear, even if you stick your fingers in your ears, it still feels like getting hit in the chest, and it is still one of the loudest things you ever heard.

I now have completely lost the lower 20% of my hearing range, and my hearing is degenerating over time.

I talked to the VA once about treatment, that will be the last I talk to the VA in its current form.

posted on May, 21 2014 @ 06:23 AM
The va system has been in serious need of overhaul for years .. lost several friends over the years due the incompetence of va doctors .. they should let veterans get tricare like the retirees do at least then the veterans would have a chance at better healthcare than what they endure now ..

posted on May, 21 2014 @ 06:29 AM
a reply to: usmc0311

While this does transcend partisan politics, it is a disgusting indictment on how the government rewards the people they place in harms way.

Take care of yourself!


posted on May, 21 2014 @ 07:14 AM
The vets of past wars are slowly relegated to the background while the fresh crop of maimed in body and spirit are "dealt with"
The older the war the less they care...............

posted on May, 21 2014 @ 07:57 AM
and yet.....there was a 2 hour special on just last night honoring the troops...."support our troops" means gutting money to the VA, and cutting personal by the thousands
edit on 21-5-2014 by jimmyx because: (no reason given)

posted on May, 21 2014 @ 08:09 AM
I'm really sorry to have read your situation, and sincerely hope that you're able to get the care you need.

I'm wondering if location might have anything to do with it.

I go to the VA outpatient clinic here where I live in SC. I'm a Persian Gulf War Vet myself. The outpatient clinic here is very nice, the staff is very pleasant and respectful of everyone that I've ever seen (WW2, Korean, Vietnam vets and up included).

Appointments to see my doctor are easy to set up, and are never scheduled when the clinic is going to be closed. I use the VA website to set up appointments (if I don't feel like calling), refill my scripts, check any test results, and I can even email my doctor, in which he responds normally in a day. Here's the link:

My Health Vet

Now I did have a problem with getting an eye appointment, took them 5 months to get me in there, and that is over in Augusta, GA. The VA hospital there is HUGE, and is where more serious treatments happen (X-rays, MRI, surgery, etc). I've had to go there too, and again, all I've ever seen is vets being treated with the up most respect.

I even got chewed out by my doctor years ago, because I stopped going to see him. I have Type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure. Those are my only problems......and I felt guilty about going and getting free health care (free for me anyways). I didn't jump on a grenade, or get hit by a IUD or anything like that.

They (the VA) pestered me until I finally went back in (which was a good thing as my blood sugar was way off, and BP was way up), and my doctor chewed me out royally.

He asked me where I got my medical license, that made me think I didn't need to be treated anymore. Before I could respond to that, he dressed me down good. Reminding me that I had EARNED my medical. That yes, I was very lucky to not have been maimed in a war, but that it didn't matter. I signed the papers and swore an oath like they did. I was there like they were. I was just lucky that I was not physically or mentally hurt like most vets he sees were.

He made me promise to never do that again.

I do know that living here in SC that vets are always normally treated with a lot of respect. I have no idea what it is like anywhere else.

So while I have been seeing news about the VA (and am quite outraged over it, not for me, I'll be fine, but for my fellow vets that EARNED that treatment and help, and who really need it more than I......I only need to go see my doc every 6 months for BP and Diabetes......but someone like you, and other vets with much more serious problems....damnit! You EARNED the right to be taken care of, and it REALLY pisses me off to hear otherwise!).

But again, I do wonder if how vets are treated depends on where they live too.

posted on May, 21 2014 @ 08:22 AM
The only problem I have ever had with the VA has been nothing more than there not being a VA Hospital nearby to me.

I have had many problems with regular doctors and medical care in general, especially when I had medical insurance in my past life before becoming ill and a divorce and losing my job.

I was offered a shoulder replacement by the VA when the injury was not even a military connected one and I turned the offer down because it wasn't really necessary at all considering my age, plus there would have been a chance I would lose my service connected disability which is about all the money I have to look forward to anymore.

The mandatory health insurance law is what will sink the entire medical industry in the end.

Or maybe more simply, the insurance industry with their thumbs in everyone's pie, in every aspect of our lives will sink everything and be praised for it somehow....

posted on May, 21 2014 @ 08:22 AM
a reply to: usmc0311

Thanks for sharing your experiences. I have to wonder if it is just the VA in SE Michigan that is the problem, or if it is endemic throughout the system? Do you have any info on that?

IMO, if you're living down in that cancer called the Detroit Metro Area, that's a lot of your problem right there. Most of our beautiful state is farms, orchards and woods, it really helps to get out and see what is real in our state.

Personally I'd never live in any of the bigger cities here like Lansing, Saginaw, Bay City, Grand Rapids, etc. after moving into my swamp. That makes me really relate to Shriek since I've lived here in western Michigan. The economy is bad in the sticks, but there is opportunity if you look for it and the move from city to country is a culture shock for a year or two, but you settle in eventually. The best thing is the community does come together and help, esp. in regards to vets and the disabled. Joining a church out here is good networking too.

My advice, get out of Detroit and breathe easier cause when you hear gun shots around here, it only means someone's got meat on the table.

edit on 21-5-2014 by MichiganSwampBuck because: typos

posted on May, 21 2014 @ 09:35 AM
a reply to: usmc0311

You have purity much summed it up for all vets.

That being said the VA I go to is one of the good ones, long waits sometimes but once you are there, good care. A nurse practitioner saved my life with her diligence and hard work, all the doctors wanted to do was cut on me.

The mention of " gut flora " pills is something to research, it worked for me.

Good luck brother, you had what it took to stay alive in the sh#t now use it to stay alive in the real world of sh#t.

posted on May, 21 2014 @ 09:39 AM
a reply to: usmc0311

I take one of these every so often...

I'm allergic to seemingly everything that is supposed to be good for me; chocolate, wool, laytex, and even certain coffee creamer brands...

Not that this chewable tablet will work for everyone? It works for me.

I knew there was a problem with this gov. years ago in the ratio of disabled veterans living on the streets, and the msm never bothers to report the true number of displaced american veterans...

posted on May, 21 2014 @ 10:08 AM
a reply to: Snarl

Snarl, I fear that the acceptance rate of students into medical schools won't necessarily fix the issue.

1. Keeping enrollment competitive = higher medical school prices
2. Higher med. school prices = higher wages for doctors

Also, you find that there are a TON of crappy doctors that make it through medical school. They are only in it for the money and not because they generally want to help people.

I also know of civilian hospitals that are horrible because they accept doctors with problems. I know of a county in my state that has some pretty bad doctors - because no good doctor wants to practice medicine there. So they take the doctors with drug and alcohol problems and that make lots of mistakes.

I fear the VA may be very similar. It doesn't make it right. The only way to create better doctors is to make being a doctor about the desire to actually treat and care for people rather than about the monetary reward. But that might take a complete overhaul of our society for that to happen.
edit on 21-5-2014 by WCmutant because: (no reason given)

posted on May, 21 2014 @ 12:14 PM
a reply to: usmc0311
Good luck to you.
I wish I could say something to make you feel better.
I wonder if it ticks them off that we are still alive.
Don't give up maybe it will piss them off more, Semper Fi.

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