Veterans’ care is killing vets

| February 3, 2014

According to this report from Anderson Cooper on CNN, at least 82 veterans have died as a direct result of the Veterans’ Affairs Department failing to schedule screening procedures for veterans, despite promises from the president and his administrator of the department, Eric Shinseki to correct the department’s shortcomings and to become more responsive.

CNN claims in the video that attempts to interview Shinseki and Obama have fallen on deaf ears, requests denied or ignored.

Now, I remember the first four years of Obama’s term, him and his little group of propagandists told veterans how much he cared about our concerns, how much him and Shinseki had done to improve the VA, but, I guess the first term is over and he won, so he doesn’t need us anymore. These re veterans who already went through the long and grueling process of getting claims approved and were admitted into the system, now they’re waiting to get the treatment to keep them alive. If I didn’t know better, I’d think they’d rather that we all die.

You’d think that a wounded veteran who went through the VA would make a good VA director, wouldn’t you?

Thanks to reader, ohio, for the link.

Category: Barack Obama/Joe Biden, Veterans' Affairs Department

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So, 3 months later I’m still waiting for my fucking ID card.

VA is horrible.

Combat Historian

I am doing my damn best to stay away, far away, from any dealings whatsoever with VA. I’d rather take my chances with the civilian medical establishment than to trust the VA with anything, and even though I probably can file for some partial disabiility claims based on my service, I have way too much pride and common sense to even try to deal with this bureaucratic monstrosity…


@2 – yeah, it’s a pain, but you need to get registered. Otherwise sometime down the road you may hear “well, it wasn’t so bad when you got out, so it must have been caused by whatever you have been doing as a civilian in the interim” and you will be well and truly screwed. With all the cost cuts, I firmly expect that any day now they will decide that if it wasn’t on file within 6 months of ETS then it is not their problem, just to save money.


And yet phony asshats who never served or falsely claim disability get MILLIONS of dollars shoved into their pockets.

Make me mad enough to spit nails.


We all know (including members of Congress and the Executive branch) that treatment for all manner of veteran ailments has been delayed months and years. Some of those untreated ailments are very serious. Some would of necessity be life threatening.

So why exactly would anyone be surprised that the VA has at least contributed to the premature deaths of veterans they have failed to treat?


And lets not forget their poster girl Duckworth. Now that she is set up for life her concern for Veterans will be typical politician style all words no actions.

SGT Kane

I injured my knee in Iraq in 2009, and while I’d like to say it was for something heroic like pulling kids out of a burning orphanage with one hand while shooting evil men in the face with my other, the truth is I slammed it into an MRAP door and fractured my kneecap.

When I returned home, I went to the VA for treatment. Months and months later, I finally was approved to see a doctor, who promptly recomended that when my knee hurt I wrap it in a flannel shirt that had been soaked in warm linseed oil.

Thankfully, I had insurance through my employer (and had carried it throughout my deployment), and so I went to see my private doctor about it. Three weeks later, I had an MRI (which showed the fracture), a surgery to grind down the calcified ridge that healed along the fracture line (that was causing the swelling and pain), and was enrolled in physical therapy.

I’ve said it before (and may have even said it here) one the problems facing VA patients is a lack of qualified resources, such as doctors, nurses, and equipment. The system is very admin heavy (to handle processing) but the actual care services are overwhelmed by the volume they are faced with. And to be honest, there are quite a few who are seeing VA doctors to abuse the hell out of the system.

But if the private sector can do it, and handle it, why can’t the VA?


When I got out in 1977 they listed me as having a 10% loss of hearing in my records. Now, fortunately for me, it has never presented a problem for which I have needed to seek help. However, a retired Navy Reserve Captain I have coffee with from time to time had the same rating on discharge. His disability was a result of service on a destroyer in the 60s on active duty off Vietnam and was determined then, when he went from active to reserves around 1967 (Not too familiar with all things Navy) It took him all of the last two years to finally get in the VA system, be reviewed, assessed and now they tell him it could be 12 to 18 months before he sees any hearing aids. I don’t get it. I have known a lot of guys with the same hearing rating and it would seem the most simple of problems to deal with and remedy. Why all the delays for something so, to me, simple? I don’t get it.

I truly feel bad for all you guys who are depending on the VA for far more serious conditions than a little hearing loss. I can’t imagine the frustration and disappointment in the face of dedicated, loyal and sometimes long service.


This scares me because I have my retirement physical next month and will be applying at the VA shortly after.

CPT Mike

Back in 2010 I was in an MRAP rollover in country. An IED pre-detonated 600m in front of the lead vic in the convoy on the soft shoulder. I’m a window licker in vic 3. First 2 vics avoid the crater, my vic hits the lip and rolls. I regain consciousness sitting on my ass on what used to be the ceiling of the troop compartment of our RG33. For 3 or 4 weeks I feel great, a little stiffness / soreness but otherwise fine. We start to demob through Kuwait, I’m in the human chain throwing our gear into the back of a truck. I twist to heave what was probably the 40th or 50th bag for that load over my right shoulder to the Soldier on the back of the truck and just like that I’m on the ground, felt like I was struck by lightning. I’m not going to write myself an LOD, my 1SG was advon to our demob site stateside and my BC / BN staff had long since popped smoke… so I just grind through it with some vitamin I and a lot of laying flat on my back. We complete DEMOB through Fort Bliss, where the docs say “you’re a reservist? your civilian insurance will take care of this” and I’m released. I lose my job (company went belly up), lose my insurance, the back is still a huge issue, so head over to the VA. I go in complaining of a back issue w/nerve damage, the doc at the VA is more concerned with the fat content of my shit (for what he called chronic diarrhea – eating my father-in-law’s greasy, spicy Mexican cooking one night and having the runs the next day). At 30 years old I go in for a colonoscopy, they do a full GI screen, including a barium swallow etc, all for what? I still have a debilitating back issue. Doc at the VA says the back issue is a figment of my imagination, that he took an X Ray and said everything was fine (because X rays… Read more »


@10 CPT Mike. Thank you for your service. I am sorry to hear a VA horror story like yours. You deserve much better brother. I hope your back heals completely and you are left with no permanent damage. I also hope your next round with the VA goes much better.


I only go to the VA for flu shots.


You would think a combat wounded veteran, who being a 4-star general you’d assume knows how to organize and get things done, would be a great fit to head the VA. Shineski’s public demeanor tells me he doesn’t care. Perhaps he tried to take on the VA bureaucracy and realized he couldn’t make it efficient, but I doubt it.


CPT Mike, @ number 10, I have a similar story. Returned from Afghanistan in ’04, where I had acquired intestinal problems. The VA told me that passing blood clots in my stool was “normal”. Horse Puckey! After two years of the run around, I sucked up and paid (almost $4000) for a civilian internal medicine doctor. He fixed my problem in two visits.

CPT Mike

@11 Sparks – Thanks. I figure it can’t just be happening to me. There must be more people out there. I appreciate TAH for bringing this up and casting light on one of the darker aspects of how our Govt “takes care” of its warfighters once they’re used up an no longer able to fight wars.


@15 CPT Mike best regards brother. I think the number out there with similar struggles as yours with the VA is far greater than anyone imagines. Sadly. Sadly.

CPT Mike

@14 trapperfrank: The overtreatment of my non-existent intestinal / GI tract disorder (the doc administering the colonoscopy was furious at the referring doc for wasting my and his time… he said “come back in 20 years, there’s nothing wrong with you”) should have been done in your case.
Its hit or miss with these people, the quality of treatment should be even across the board.
One of my fellow Company Commanders in the same battalion is still to this day having intestinal issues, he hadn’t had a solid turd in almost 3 years. VA said it was a mental issue and threw antidepressants and painkillers at him. Civilian doc said it was ulcerative colitis, and he’s now finally receiving treatment, retaining weight, and not passing blood in his stools.

These anecdotes are just a small sampling of what the VA has gotten wrong. I’m sure there are just as many “hey they got it right” stories… but these people are doctors… this kind of success rate on the civilian side would get them fired/arrested.


The lack of minimally satisfactory care from the VA should be obvious to anyone who sees an ad for law firms specializing in VA claims. Were there no market for them they certainly would not be advertising for clients.


comment redux…. I still say, in spite of the BS at VA, you need to get registered. Doesn’t mean you have to use them full timme!! But it’s nice to know there is a back-up plan, and under Obamacare, VA counts as having insurance. Best of both worlds: register at VA, use civilian medical for actual treatment as long as you can.

Just An Old Dog

The M/O of the VA is to consistently refer you to other branches with the VA for consult, while never actually treating your condition or granting a pension.
They count on you getting frustrated and leaving the system. Meanwhile they have validated their existence by filling out their appointment schedules and considering you as someone they are helping.
I went through hell and back getting a pension that I needed to get by. If I had blown off getting a small rating and getting minor conditions I had documented when I retired I would be screwed now.
Keep pestering those shitheads, keep your records and be a pain in the ass. They only has to say yes once.

Don H

@13 Smaj: Remember, he never left active duty. So all of his care would have been in military medical treatment facilities. And that is a whole different world.

@9 Twist: Before you retire, go to your local medical treatment facility and file their request form for a copy of your electronic medical record. They’ll print it all out for you, and you’ll be able to request copies of any of your x-rays or other imaging studies on a CD. That way you’ll know exactly what’s in your record, and can search it to document anything you’re claiming with teh VA.


Can’t complain to much, after 5 months I actually got a live one on the phone to ask about the letter they sent me saying that they couldn’t mail me a check without my correct address. Yep they sent me mail because they said they couldn’t mail something to me.


#21, you missed my point completely.


I’d add that since Shinseki’s “pension” is 137% more than his base pay as an O-10, I think he doesn’t need treatment at VAs. Let alone with his current position and the obscene amount he makes as Secretary, he has other insurance that he prefers. I doubt he even gets a flu shot at the VA.

I’ve had more than one doc at the VA tell me I just need pain therapy. I also worked with a friend who got told by the VA that he’d just have to live with his back problems. He went to a civilian doc as soon as he was in retirement outprocessing mode and got a second opinion. That doc told him he needed surgery on his back, but it will repair his issues enough that he won’t have back pain any longer.

I’ve been trying for 7 months now to find an answer, but still the VA is focused on “pain therapy/management” vs what the root cause is.

I’m curious what everyone else thinks of this idea. What do you think the outcome would be if the VA turned 100% administrative and just did referrals to civilian docs for everything? I’m not supporting the idea, nor am I against it. Just curious what the thoughts are if they were to do that. If it would be better to take “care” away from them and let civilian docs work on us, like Tricare Remote used to do when it was usable.

A Proud Infidel

Meanwhile, B. Hussein 0bama & Company can’t hand out Medical Care to illegal aliens and welfare flunkies fast enough, hell, convicts in prison get better and faster medical care than us Vets!!